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Volume 33, Number 1, March 2000

TT virus infection among hemodialysis patients at a medical center in Taiwan

Yu-Jiun Chan, Yung-Ho Hsu, Min-Chi Chen, Wing-Wai Wong, Jaw-Chin Wu, Wu-Chang Yang, Cheng-Yi Liu
Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, ROC



Although the association between TT virus (TTV) infection and hepatitis is controversial, the high prevalence of TTV infection in healthy blood donors and even higher rate among frequently transfused patients poses a potential threat to public health and clinical care. In addition, there is a lack of data concerning the prevalence and mode of transmission of TTV infection in different subpopulations in Taiwan. In the present study, we investigated the prevalence of TTV infection in 111 uremic patients receiving regular hemodialysis in a single hospital in Taiwan. Blood samples were collected and analyzed using a seminested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) designed to amplify a 271 base-pair DNA fragment. The results show that the overall TTV positive rate in uremic patients in our hospital was 61% (68/111), which was much higher than the reported TTV prevalence rate among the normal population (ranging from 1%-12%). The results of analysis of the demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients indicate that blood transfusion may play an important role in TTV transmission (p < 0.05). In addition, the hepatitis B positive rate was significantly lower in TTV positive patients. However, liver function tests were not significantly different between TTV positive and TTV negative patients. The results of the present study suggest that blood transfusion plays an important role in TTV transmission in uremic patients.


J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2000;33:14-18.