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J Med Virol. 2003 Jan;69(1):66-71.

TT virus infection in healthy children, children after blood transfusion, and children with non-A to E hepatitis or other liver diseases in Taiwan.

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Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


Serum samples from healthy and diseased children were studied for the presence of TTV DNA by nested PCR using primer sets generated from N-22 region and from the untranslated region (UTR) of the viral genome. N-22 positive TTV DNA was detectable in 33 (27%) of 122 healthy children, 47 (73.4%) of 64 polytransfused thalassemic children, 37 (46.3%) of 80 children who received transfusion during cardiac surgery, 8 (42.1%) of 19 non-A to E hepatitis, 10 (33.3%) of 30 HBV carrier children, and 5 (15.6%) of 32 infants with biliary atresia. A much higher prevalence of TTV DNA with rates varying from 78-100% in the above study groups was observed using the UTR primers. For children with N-22 positive TTV DNA, biochemical assessment of isolated TTV viremia in thalassemic children or children transfused during surgery showed no convincing association between raised ALT levels and TTV viremia. Coinfection with TTV in chronic HCV-infected or HBV-infected children did not result in higher peak ALT levels during follow-up, suggesting that TTV has no synergistic pathogenic effect. The phylogenetic analysis of the N-22 positive TTV DNA isolates revealed that most isolates from healthy children, children transfused during surgery, and non-A to E fulminant hepatitis children were type 1 TTV. These results indicate that TTV infection in children was significantly associated with transfusion. TTV infection is highly prevalent in early childhood in Taiwan but plays a minimal role in the induction of hepatitis in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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