- NEW YORK - Nearly 7 percent of blood donors in Northern California
who were randomly tested were found to be positive for a new type of virus,
known as TT virus, researchers say.
- The virus was first identified in 1997
in Japan when researchers found it in 3 of 5 patients who developed hepatitis
after blood transfusions. However, it is still not clear if the virus
is harmless, or something to be concerned about.
- Bernie R. Betlach and colleagues at the
Sacramento Medical Foundation Center tested a total of 194 samples from
volu nteer blood donors in a 13-county area of Northern California. The
resea rchers tested 119 healthy volunteers and 75 donors with elevated
blood levels of liver enzymes.
- "In each group, 6.7 percent tested
positive for TT virus," Betlach told Reuters Health in a telephone
interview. All the samples were negative for other viruses checked during
routine don or blood screening.
- The study findings were scheduled to
be presented Monday at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in
- It is possible that the virus may account
for some cases of transfusion-associated hepatitis in those cases in which
an individual tests negative for any of the known hepatitis vir uses, according
to Betlach, but more study is needed to find out if this proposed link