Detection of TT virus in lymph node biopsies of B-cell lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease, and its association with EBV infection

A. R. Garbuglia, Teresa Iezzi, M. R. Capobianchi, P. Pignoloni, A. Pulsoni, J. Sourdis, E. Pescarmona, D. Vitolo, F. Mandelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human TT virus (TTV) recently isolated from the serum of a patient with post-transfusion hepatitis does seem to have only hepatopathic effect. The virus can also infect the serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and bone marrow cells (BMC). Additional evidence has indicated that TTV is also present in the serum of people with hematopoietic malignancies. A significant increase in the incidence of lymphoma has recently been observed worldwide. We have investigated the presence of TTV DNA in lymph node biopsies of Italian patients affected with the most common lymphoma types in Western Countries: follicular lymphoma (FL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's disease (NS-HD). The possible role of a co-infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has also been investigated. DNA was extracted from 73 paraffin-embedded and 38 snap-frozen tissue specimens. From these, only 67 samples (29 paraffin-embedded and 38 snap-frozen tissues) from a total of 56 patients, were suitable for PCR analysis. TTV and EBV were detected by PCR using primers from two different conserved region in TTV and EBV genomes respectively. TTV DNA was detected in 30.0 -50.0% of FL, 30.8% of DLBCL and 30.0-50.0% of NS-HD cases, depending on the primers used. All cases of non-specific reactive lymphoid hyperplasia (RLH), used as a putative control, were negative. The two major TTV genotypes circulating in Italy (G1 and G2) were detected in the analysed lymphoid neoplasms. EBV DNA was detected in 40.0% of FL, in 72.7% of DLBCL, in 80.0% of SN-HD and in 40.0% of RLH cases. EBV co-infection was found in 90% of TTV positive cases. The in situ hybridization assay was performed in TTV positive frozen samples. The significant prevalence of TTV DNA in lymphocytes circulating in the lymph nodes of both B-cell lymphomas and HD reported herewith suggests a possible implication of TTV infection in the development of these lymphoproliferative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • B-cell lymphoma
  • EBV
  • Hodgkin's Disease
  • PBMC
  • TTV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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