TT virus (TTV) is a newly identified single-stranded DNA virus. We retrospectively analysed serum samples from sixteen patients, infected with both hepatitis C virus (HCV) and TTV, and who had been treated with interferon. An elevated serum alanine aminotransferase level after interferon was associated with persistence of HCV (abnormal in five of seven patients with persistence of HCV compared with normal in all nine patients who showed eradication of HCV) irrespective of persistence of TTV. Comparison of partial viral DNA nucleotide sequences and phylogenetic analysis showed that viral strains that had a high identity to the prototype virus were more resistant to interferon than those showing low nucleotide sequence identity. Although we observed no liver cell injury caused by persistent TTV infection, the mechanism(s) of TTV resistance to interferon should be further investigated for a better understanding of viral diseases and establishment of therapy.


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