HTLV-I and HTLV-II infections in subjects at risk for HIV-1 infection from southeastern Italy (apulia region)

Maria Chironna, Maria Luisa Calabrò, Michele Quarto, Cinzia Germinario, Josè Ramon Fiore, Anna Favero, Domenico Potenza, Luigi Chieco-Bianchi, Salvatore Barbuti

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To assess the prevalence of HTLV-I and HTLV-II infections in different groups at risk for HIV-I infection, a study on 867 subjects was carried out by means of serological and PCR analyses. Serum specimens were collected from 268 intravenous drug users (IVDU), 66 homosexual men, 248 subjects with sexually transmitted diseases (STD), 105 thalassemics and 180 hemophiliacs. Sera from 3 IVDU and a sample from an STD patient were confirmed as HTLV-II seropositive; a thalassemic patient was seropositive for HTLV-I; a homosexual man, though confirmed as HTLV-I/II-seroreactive, could not be typed by serological methods. No hemophiliac was found to be HTLV-I/II-reactive. All 3 HTLV-II-seroreactive IVDU and the HTLV-infected thalassemic were confirmed by PCR; an additional sample from an IVDU, indeterminate by Western blot, was confirmed to be positive for HTLV-II by PCR. Subtyping of HTLV-II samples indicated the presence of II/b subtype in all 4 cases. Up to now, the reservoir for HTLV-II infection in southeastern Italy is mainly represented by IVDU, while HTLV-I infection seems to be sporadic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-750
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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