Diversity and Long-Term Dynamics of Human Blood Anelloviruses

Joanna Kaczorowska, Martin Deijs, Michelle Klein, Margreet Bakker, Maarten F. Jebbink, Mila Sparreboom, Cormac M. Kinsella, Anne L. Timmerman, Lia van der Hoek

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Anelloviruses (AVs) are commensal members of the human blood virome. Even though it was estimated that over 90% of the human population carries AVs, the dynamics of the AV virome (“anellome”) are unknown. We investigated the dynamics of blood anellomes in two healthy people followed up for more than 30 years. Both subjects were positive for AVs in the majority of samples. Alphatorquevirus (torque teno virus [TTV]) was the most common genus in both subjects, followed by Betatorquevirus (torque teno minivirus [TTMV]) and Gammatorquevirus (torque teno midivirus [TTMDV]). Almost five times more lineages were found in subject 1 than in subject 2, and the anellomes differed phylogenetically. Both anellomes remained compositionally stable, and 9 out of 64 AV lineages were detected in over half of the time points. We confirmed the long-term and short-term persistence of 13 lineages by specific quantitative PCR (qPCR). AV lineages were detected in blood for over 30 years. Noticeable differences in anellome richness were found between the tested subjects, but both anellomes remained compositionally stable over time. These findings demonstrate that the human blood anellome is personal and that AV infection is chronic and potentially commensal. IMPORTANCE Knowledge of the persistence of AVs in humans is crucial to our understanding of the nature of AV infection (chronic or acute) and the role of AV in the host. We therefore investigated the dynamics of anellovirus infection in two healthy people followed up for 30 years. Our findings suggest that the human blood anellovirus virome (anellome) remains stable and personal for decades.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
Early online date16 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • KEYWORDS anellome
  • anellovirus
  • blood virome
  • chronic viral infection
  • torque teno virus
  • virome

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