Early acquisition of TT virus (TTV) in an area endemic for TTV infection.
Davidson F., MacDonald D., Mokili JL., Prescott LE., Graham S., Simmonds P.
TT virus (TTV) is widely distributed, with high frequencies of viremia in South America, Central Africa, and Papua New Guinea. The incidence and timing of infection in children born in a rural area of the Democratic Republic of Congo was investigated. TTV viremia was detected in 61 (58%) of 105 women attending an antenatal clinic and in 36 (54%) of 68 infants. Most infants acquired the infection at >/=3 months postpartum. Surprisingly, TTV infection was detected in a large proportion of children with TTV-negative mothers (13 [43%] of 30). Nucleotide sequences of TTV-infected children were frequently epidemiologically unlinked to variants detected in the mother. These three aspects contrast with the maternal transmission of hepatitis G virus/GB virus C in this cohort and suggest an environmental source of TTV infection comparable to hepatitis A virus and other enterically transmitted infections.