Distribution of TT virus (TTV), TTV-like minivirus, and related viruses in humans and nonhuman primates

K Thom, C Morrison, J C M Lewis, P Simmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


TT virus (TTV) and TTV-like minivirus (TLMV) are small DNA viruses with single-stranded, closed circular, antisense genomes infecting man. Despite their extreme sequence heterogeneity (>50%), a highly conserved region in the untranslated region (UTR) allows both viruses to be amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). TTV/TLMV infection was detected in 88 of 100 human plasma samples; amplified sequences were differentiated into TTV and TLMV by analysis of melting profiles, showing that both viruses were similarly prevalent. PCR with UTR primers also detected frequent infection with TTV/TLMV-related viruses in a wide range of apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons) and African monkey species (mangabeys, drills, mandrills). These findings support the hypothesis for the co-evolution of TTV-like viruses with their hosts over the period of primate speciation, potentially analogous to the evolution of primate herpesviruses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-33
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2003


  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA Viruses
  • DNA, Viral
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Mammals
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Primates
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Torque teno virus
  • Untranslated Regions


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