Human anelloviruses: an update of molecular, epidemiological and clinical aspects

Arch Virol. 2015 Apr;160(4):893-908. doi: 10.1007/s00705-015-2363-9. Epub 2015 Feb 15.


Human torque teno viruses (TTVs) are new, emerging infectious agents, recently assigned to the family Anelloviridae. The first representative of the genus, torque teno virus (TTV), was discovered in 1997, followed by torque teno mini virus (TTMV) in 2000, and torque teno midi virus (TTMDV) in 2007. These viruses are characterized by an extremely high prevalence, with relatively uniform distribution worldwide and a high level of genomic heterogeneity, as well as an apparent pan-tropism at the host level. Although these viruses have a very high prevalence in the general population across the globe, neither their interaction with their hosts nor their direct involvement in the etiology of specific diseases are fully understood. Since their discovery, human anelloviruses, and especially TTV, have been suggested to be associated with various diseases, such as hepatitis, respiratory diseases, cancer, hematological and autoimmune disorders, with few arguments for their direct involvement. Recent studies have started to reveal interactions between TTVs and the host's immune system, leading to new hypotheses for potential pathological mechanisms of these viruses. In this review article, we discuss the most important aspects and current status of human TTVs in order to guide future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anelloviridae / classification
  • Anelloviridae / genetics*
  • Anelloviridae / isolation & purification
  • Anelloviridae / physiology
  • Animals
  • DNA Virus Infections / epidemiology
  • DNA Virus Infections / transmission
  • DNA Virus Infections / virology*
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Phylogeny