TT virus (TTV) genogroup 1 infection has an increased prevalence in solid organ transplant recipients. In this study, the presence of TTV in renal transplant recipients was examined by two PCR methods, one capable of detecting most TTV genotypes (UTR-PCR), the other specific to genogroup 1 (N22-PCR). The N22-PCR detected TTV in 57% (53/92) of the renal transplant patients and in 20% (13/66) of the healthy individuals, while the prevalence of TTV with the UTR-PCR was above 90% in both the control and the patient groups. The N22-PCR was used in longitudinal studies of 31 renal transplant recipients, these PCR products were sequenced and aligned. TTV status was not associated with the patients' age at transplantation, male to female ratio and the time lag between kidney transplantation and the TTV test. During the follow-up consistent TTV status was found in 26 patients, while two initially TTV positive patients converted to negative and three initially negative patients converted to positive. The TTV variants varied among the tested patients, but were the same in the consecutive samples of each patient, indicating that TTV infection was persistent in renal transplant recipients and novel infection occured rarely in the post-transplant period.
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