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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.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Virology

Publication Date

15/02/2003

Volume

306

Pages

324 - 333

Keywords

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