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Rev Med Virol. 2007 Jan-Feb;17(1):45-57.

Torque teno virus (TTV): current status.

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Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Nishi, Yonago, Japan.


Torque teno virus (TTV), currently classified into the family Circoviridae, genus Anellovirus, was first found in a patient with non-A-E hepatitis. TTV has a single stranded circular DNA of approximately 3.8 kb. TTVs are extraordinarily diverse, spanning five groups including SANBAN and SEN viruses. Torque teno mini virus (TTMV) with approximately 2.9 kb genome also has wide variants. Recently, two related 2.2- and 2.6-kb species joined this community. Recombinations between variants are frequent. This extensive TTV diversity remains unexplained; it is unclear how TTVs could be viable, and why they require such genetic variation. An unequivocal culture system is still not available. TTVs are ubiquitous in > 90% of adults worldwide but no human pathogenicity of TTV has been fully established. Epidemiological surveys need to specify the variants being studied and clinical targets, and must calibrate the sensitivity of the assay used. Potentially interesting observations include a higher viral load in patients with severe idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, cancer and lupus. Active replication was also found in infants with acute respiratory diseases. TTV/TTMV-related viruses were found in chimpanzees, apes, African monkeys and tupaias, and also in chickens, pigs, cows, sheep and dogs. Experimentally, rhesus monkeys were persistently infected by TTV, but only 1/53 chimpanzees. TTV transcribes three species of mRNAs, 3.0-, 1.2- and 1.0-kb in the ratio of 60:5:35. Recently, at least three mRNAs were shown in chicken anaemia virus. The genomic region -154/-76 contains a critical promoter. TTV seems to have at least three proteins; however, the definite functions of these proteins await further research work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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