Torque teno viruses

TTV Torque teno viruses (TTVs) are small, non-enveloped viruses that contain a circular single-stranded DNA genome of negative polarity, presently classified in the family Anelloviridae. TTVs were first detected in 1997 in a Japanese patient with post-transfusion hepatitis of unknown etiology. TTVs are not restricted to human hosts and have also been identified in a number of other species, including non-human primates, cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, cows and sheep. Do they cause any diseases? The jury is still out on that question. In fact, we really know very little about these relatively common viruses…


Torque Teno Sus Virus (TTSuV) in Cell Cultures and Trypsin. (2011) PLoS ONE 6(3): e17501. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017501
Torque teno sus virus (TTSuV), a member of the family Anelloviridae, is a single-stranded, circular DNA virus, widely distributed in swine populations. Presently, two TTSuV genogroups are recognized: Torque teno sus virus 1 (TTSuV1) and Torque teno sus virus 2 (TTSuV2). TTSuV genomes have been found in commercial vaccines for swine, enzyme preparations and other drugs containing components of porcine origin. However, no studies have been made looking for TTSuV in cell cultures. In the present study, a search for TTSuV genomes was carried out in cell culture lineages, in sera used as supplement for cell culture media as well as in trypsin used for cell disaggregation. DNA obtained from twenty-five cell lineages (ten from cultures in routine multiplication and fifteen from frozen ampoules), nine samples of sera used in cell culture media and five batches of trypsin were examined for the presence of TTSuV DNA. Fifteen cell lineages, originated from thirteen different species contained amplifiable TTSuV genomes, including an ampoule with a cell lineage frozen in 1985. Three cell lineages of swine origin were co-infected with both TTSuV1 and TTSuV2. One batch of trypsin contained two distinct TTSuV1 plus one TTSuV2 genome, suggesting that this might have been the source of contamination, as supported by phylogenetic analyses of sequenced amplicons. Samples of fetal bovine and calf sera used in cell culture media did not contain amplifiable TTSuV DNA. This is the first report on the presence of TTSuV as contaminants in cell lineages. In addition, detection of the viral genome in an ampoule frozen in 1985 provides evidence that TTSuV contamination is not a recent event. These findings highlight the risks of TTSuV contamination in cell cultures, what may be source for contamination of biological products or compromise results of studies involving in vitro multiplied cells.

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