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J Med Virol. 2001 Oct;65(2):418-22.

Low prevalence of TT virus in the cerebrospinal fluid of viremic patients with central nervous system disorders.

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Retrovirus Center and Virology Section, Department of Biomedicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


TT virus (TTV) is a widespread infectious agent of humans identified in 1998. In infected individuals, TTV induces persistent viremia but its life cycle and pathogenic potential are still poorly understood. In the present study, the presence of TTV DNA in 32 consecutive paired serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from patients with neurological (mainly multiple sclerosis) disorders was investigated by means of a sensitive quantitative real-time PCR assay. Of the 24 patients who were found to carry TTV DNA in serum, 3 also had detectable TTV DNA in their CSF. Two TTV positive CSF samples had markers indicative of blood contamination or a disrupted blood-brain barrier and contained considerably lower TTV loads as compared with the corresponding serum samples, thus suggesting that the virus they contained was of plasma origin. These findings indicated that in general TTV does not permeate effectively an intact blood-brain barrier. Furthermore, the CNS does not represent a common site of TTV replication and persistence. However, at least one exception was observed: the third TTV positive CSF sample (obtained from a patient with subacute dementia of unknown origin) showed no markers suggestive of disrupted blood-brain barrier or blood contamination and had a TTV DNA concentration similar to that found in the patient's serum. In addition, the TTV isolates detected in the two body fluids were distinct genetically. The detection of TTV DNA in CSF is of considerable interest but the clinical significance remains unknown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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