TT virus (TTV) is a novel viral agent, detected recently in non‐A to E hepatitis cases. Little is known about its natural history or routes of transmission in childhood. For the detection of serum TTV DNA, semi‐nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out using TTV‐specific primers and TTV nucleotide sequences were determined by the dideoxy chain‐mediated termination method. Five of the 70 children studied (including 20 hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers, 40 children born to HBV carrier mothers and 10 children born to hepatitis C virus (HCV) carrier mothers) had serum TTV DNA. Three of the 5 children had siblings (4 in total), so that a total of 9 children were studied to determine the time of initial serum TTV DNA detection. In the 8 seropositive children, the time of serum TTV DNA detection ranged from 6 to 14 months after birth, and TTV DNA persisted thereafter throughout the follow‐up period. The TTV DNA‐negative child was assessed most recently at 6 months of age. TTV DNA was detected in only 2 of the 4 mothers tested (families 2 and 3). When 271‐bp TTV DNA fragments from each of the 8 children were sequenced, the degree of homology between siblings in families 1–3 was 100%, 99.5%, and 92.3%, respectively. The degree of homology between child‐mother pairs of families 2 and 3 was 99.5–100% and 62.6–63.9%, respectively. The distribution of different TTV strains was consistent within families, except for family 3. None of the TTV‐infected children had elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase or clinical signs of liver disease. J. Med. Virol. 59:204–207, 1999. © 1999 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
Journal of Medical Virology – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1999
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