Journal Article

TT virus infection in haemodialysis patients

Nadia Campo, Renata Brizzolara, Nicoletta Sinelli, Francesco Torre, Rodolfo Russo, Giacomo Deferrari and Antonino Picciotto

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 15, issue 11, pages 1823-1826
Published in print November 2000 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online November 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/15.11.1823
TT virus infection in haemodialysis patients

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Background. The recent discovery of a new parenterally transmitted DNA virus called TT virus (TTV) led us to investigate its prevalence in haemodialysis patients, a high‐risk group for blood‐borne infection, and to evaluate its role in liver disease. Moreover, we compared the TTV prevalence with the prevalence of other hepatitis virus coinfections.

Methods. Serum samples of 78 patients on maintenance haemodialysis were tested for TTV‐DNA, hepatitis G virus (HGV)‐RNA, anti‐E2, anti‐hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HCV‐RNA. TTV‐DNA was detected by semi‐nested PCR using the primers from open reading frame 1 (ORF). HGV‐RNA was detected by PCR using specific primers for the NS3 and the 5′‐UTR genome regions while anti‐E2 were checked by an enzyme immunological test. Anti‐HCV was tested by the second generation Chiron RIBA HCV test system. HCV‐RNA was evaluated by nested PCR with primers directed to the highly conserved 5′ non‐coding region of the HCV genome.

Results. TTV prevalence in our patients was 19% (15/78) while the prevalence of HCV and HGV infection proved to be 20 and 15.4%, respectively. Among TTV positive patients HGV co‐infection was present in five cases (33%), HCV in six cases (39.9%), while HBV co‐infection was not present in any of the patients. Only three patients proved positive for all three viruses. ALT levels were normal in most cases (13/15; 86%). In particular, patients with TTV infection alone showed normal ALT levels and HCV coinfection was found in the two patients with moderate ALT increases.

Conclusions. TTV prevalence in haemodialysed patients is significant though the real clinical impact is still unclear. However, we must keep in mind that the epidemiological relevance of TTV infection is probably underestimated due to the impossibility in detecting the corresponding antibody.

Keywords: TTV‐DNA; TTV; HGV‐RNA; HGV antibody; hepatitis C virus; haemodialysis

Journal Article.  2669 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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