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Virology. 2009 Nov 25;394(2):235-42. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.08.036. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Torquetenovirus DNA drives proinflammatory cytokines production and secretion by immune cells via toll-like receptor 9.

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Virology Unit and Retrovirus Centre, Pisa University Hospital and Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy.


Active infection with torquetenovirus (TTV) has been associated with an increased severity of diseases in which inflammation plays a particularly important pathogenetic role. Here, we report that cloned DNA of a genogroup 4 TTV (ViPiSAL) is an activator of proinflammatory cytokine production by murine spleen cells and that the effect is mediated via toll-like receptor (TLR)9. The same DNA also increased the levels of proinflammatory cytokines induced by two well-characterized TLR9 stimulants. Finally, in silico analyses of the genomes of ViPiSAL and other TTVs revealed marked differences in the representation of CpG motifs known to be most effective at activating immune cells via TLR9. These findings demonstrate for the first time that at least one TTV isolate has the potential to stimulate and co-stimulate inflammatory responses.

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