Epidemiology and etiopathology of human T-lymphotropic viruses: Diagnostic and clinical implications for non-endemic areas

A. Del Mistro, M. L. Calabro, A. Favero, L. Chieco-Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Human T-lymphotropic viruses (HTLV) type I and II were first described more than a decade ago. HTLV-I epidemiology and etiopathology are more defined than those of HTLV-II, but conflicting results have been obtained in seroepidemiologic surveys, mainly for difficulties in the discrimination between the two infections. The introduction of advanced serologic and molecular assays has recently provided sensitive and specific tools for diagnosis, and the epidemiologic and etiopathologic patterns linked to these retroviruses are being more precisely defined. Moreover, extensive nucleotide sequence analyses performed so far have mainly focused on HTLV-I isolates. The recent discovery of new HTLV-II endemic areas and the isolation of HTLV-II strains from intravenous drug users have finally provided the material for the molecular characterization of HTLV-II isolates, which is now a rapidly envolving field. We review the diagnostic strategies available and the etiologic associations reported so far for both viruses and also discuss the occurrence and significance of indeterminate serologic reactivities observed in both endemic and non-endemic areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-100
Number of pages13
JournalTumori
Volume80
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • HTLV-I/II
  • non-endemic-areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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