By means of representational difference analysis, a viral clone (N22) of 500 nucleotides was isolated from serum of a patient (TT) with posttransfusion hepatitis of unknown etiology. The N22 clone showed a poor homology to any reported sequences. Oligonucleotide primers were deduced from the N22 sequence for detecting it by polymerase chain reaction. N22 sequence in serum banded at a sucrose density of 1.26 g/cm3, indicating its association with a viral particle which was designated TT virus (TTV). Since nucleic acids of TTV were sensitive to DNase I, it would be a DNA virus. TTV DNA was detected in sera from three of the five patients with posttransfusion non-A to G hepatitis, including the index case (TT). TTV DNA titers closely correlated with aminotransferase levels in the three patients. These results indicate that TTV would be a novel DNA virus with a possible capacity to induce posttransfusion non-A to G hepatitis.
Copyright 1997 Academic Press.