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Volume 40, Number 2, April 2007

Presence and significance of transfusion-transmitted virus infection in Iranian patients on maintenance hemodialysis

Maryam Kheradpezhouh, Mahnaz Taremi, Latif Gachkar, Sohrab Aghabozorgi, Manouchehr Khoshbaten
National Research Department of Foodborne Diseases, Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Taleghani Hospital, Tehran; Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran; and Infectious Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

Received: February 28, 2006    Revised: March 28, 2006    Accepted: July 7, 2006   


Corresponding author:

Maryam Kheradpezhouh, 1403, Plaza Dr., State College, PA 16801, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

Transfusion-transmitted virus (TTV), a recently discovered DNA virus, was first identified in patients with non-A to -G hepatitis following blood transfusion. Transmission is generally via the parenteral route but recent data suggest that TTV can also be transmitted by the fecal-oral route.




This cross-sectional study was conducted in March 2005 and included 324 patients on maintenance hemodialysis (HD) at 3 different centers in Tabriz, Iran. Demographic and clinical data were recorded. Blood samples for virological and biochemical tests were drawn simultaneously. TTV DNA was detected using semi-nested polymerase chain reaction. Serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase were also measured.




Overall seroprevalence of TTV was 9.3% (95% confidence interval, 6.1-12.5%). Prevalence rates of hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis C virus antibody, and hepatitis E virus antibody were 4.6% (15/324), 20.4% (66/324), and 7.4% (24/324), respectively. Patients were negative for human immunodeficiency virus antibody. There was no association between TTV infection and elevated ALT levels. TTV-positive patients were significantly younger than TTV-negative patients (p=0.018). There was no significant association between TTV positivity and age, gender, duration of HD, positivity for hepatitis B, C, or E virus infection markers, and history of transfusion and transplantation.




We observed low TTV prevalence and no association between TTV and blood-borne infections in our HD patients. TTV infection was not related to elevated levels of liver enzymes; however, the clinical impact of this virus need further investigations.



Key words:

Dialysis; Hepatitis; Iran; Polymerase chain reaction



J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2007;40:106-111.