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High-throughput sequencing exclusively identified a novel Torque teno virus genotype in serum of a patient with fatal fever.

Mi Z, Yuan X, Pei G, Wang W, An X, Zhang Z, Huang Y, Peng F, Li S, Bai C, Tong Y

Torque teno virus (TTV) has been found to be prevalent world-wide in healthy populations and in patients with various diseases, but its etiological role has not yet been determined. Using high-throughput unbiased sequencing to screen for viruses in the serum of a patient with persistent high fever who died of suspected viral infection and prolonged weakness, we identified the complete genome sequence of a TTV (isolate Hebei-1). The genome of TTV-Hebei-1 is 3649 bp in length, encoding four putative open reading frames, and it has a G+C content of 49%. Genomic comparison and a BLASTN search revealed that the assembled genome of TTV-Hebei-1 represented a novel isolate, with a genome sequence that was highly heterologous to the sequences of other reported TTV strains. A phylogenetic tree constructed using the complete genome sequence showed that TTV-Hebei-1 and an uncharacterized Taiwanese strain, TW53A37, constitute a new TTV genotype. The patient was strongly suspected of carrying a viral infection and died eventually without any other possible causes being apparent. No virus other than the novel TTV was identified in his serum sample. Although a direct causal link between the novel TTV genotype infection and the patient's disease could not be confirmed, the findings suggest that surveillance of this novel TTV genotype is necessary and that its role in disease deserves to be explored.

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April, 2014




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