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Vet Microbiol. 2004 Nov 30;104(1-2):113-7.

Molecular characterization of porcine TT virus, an orphan virus, in pigs from six different countries.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1410 Price's Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0342, USA.


Human TT virus (TTV), originally isolated from a patient with post-transfusion hepatitis in 1997, is ubiquitous and non-pathogenic. Viruses related to human TTV have since been identified in non-human primates, bovine, ovine, porcine, feline, and canine. The objective of this study was to genetically characterize porcine TTV from pigs in different geographic regions. PCR primers based on the non-coding region of the only available porcine TTV isolate were designed to amplify porcine TTV DNA from sera of pigs in six different countries. Porcine TTV DNA was detected in 66.2% (102/154) of the swine sera. The percentages of positive pigs varied greatly from country to country and even within the same country: 33% in Iowa, USA; 40% in Thailand; 46% in Ontario, Canada; 80% in China; 85% in Korea; 90% in Spain; 100% in Quebec and Saskatchewan, Canada. A total of 40 porcine TTV isolates (five from each geographic region) were sequenced for a 218 bp fragment within the non-coding region. Sequence analyses revealed that porcine TTV isolates from different geographic regions shared 86-100% nucleotide sequence identity to each other. The prototype Japanese isolate of porcine TTV, Sd-TTV31, shared 90-97% nucleotide sequence identity with porcine TTV isolates reported in this study. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the clustering of the porcine TTV isolates is not associated with geographic origins. Although porcine TTV is not known to be associated with any swine disease, co-infection of pigs with TTV and other known swine pathogens may result in enhanced disease. There are also concerns for risk of potential human infection during xenotransplantation.

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