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Intervirology. 1999;42(2-3):196-204.

A novel unenveloped DNA virus (TT virus) associated with acute and chronic non-A to G hepatitis.

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Immunology Division and Division of Molecular Virology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi-Ken, Japan.


In 1997, a novel DNA virus was isolated from the serum of a patient with posttransfusion hepatitis of unknown etiology in Japan, and it was named TT virus (TTV) after the initials of the index patient. TTV is a nonenveloped, single-stranded and circular DNA virus, and its entire sequence of approximately 3.9 kb has been determined. For being a DNA virus, TTV has a wide range of sequence divergence, allowing the classification into at least 16 genotypes separated by a sequence difference of >30% from one another. The nucleotide sequence of the noncoding region of the TTV genome is conserved, whereas that of the coding region is highly variable. TTV strains with extremely high sequence divergence are common in the same individuals, thereby indicating a mixed infection of TTV strains of different genotypes. An association is found between hepatitis of unknown etiology and the TTV genotypes which are detectable by PCR with primers deduced from the N22 region (genotype 1) in the open reading frame 1 encoding the capsid protein. It would be important to select the primers for specific detection of the TTV genotypes associated with clinical diseases, to further evaluate the capacity of TTV to induce acute and chronic liver disease as well as extrahepatic manifestations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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