You just never know what’s out there until you look. An unusually small virus was found over a decade ago in a person in Japan suffering from hepatitis after a blood transfusion. It was named Torque Teno Virus (TTV), meaning “thin necklace”, reflecting the genetic structure. In addition to humans, it has been found in birds, cattle, swine, and sheep, as well as various wildlife species. Its importance and disease-causing ability remain unknown. These researchers in China identified a new TTV in Chinese cats. While it is still not clear whether or not this virus causes any problems in infected animals, it does show that one doesn’t know what exists until one looks for it! [MK]
Okamoto H, Takahashi M, Nishizawa T et al: Genomic characterization of TT viruses (TTVs) in pigs, cats and dogs and their relatedness with species-specific TTVs in primates and tupaias, The Journal of general virology 83:1291, 2002.