HTLV infection among Italian intravenous drug users and North African subjects detected by the polymerase chain reaction and serological methods

E. Colombo, I. Magistrem, E. Mendozzi, E. Cattaneo, G. Achilli, P. Ferrante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Six hundred intravenous drug users (IVDUs) and two hundred North Africans were screened for human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) antibodies using several serological methods. Eighteen of the eighty-two HTLV-seropositive individuals were also tested by the polymerase chain reaction-DNA enzyme immunoassay (PCR-DEIA), a non-isotopic method of immunoenzymatic detection of the amplified DNA. Of these eighteen subjects, eight IVDUs were found to be HTLV-II-positive by the PCR-DEIA, whereas all of the eighteen subjects were negative for HTLV-I. Western blot (WE) confirmed six of the eight HTLV-positive subjects, while the results of the remaining two were indeterminate. The results confirmed the PCR-DEIA as a rapid and an efficient method of discriminating between HTLV-I and HTLV-II infection, whereas serological tests, including the WE, have limitations in terms of specificity and sensitivity. Moreover, this study showed a higher frequency of HTLV seroreactivity in the Italian IVDU population than in previous studies and confirmed that HTLV-II is more frequent than HTLV-I in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Keywords

  • DNA amplification
  • HTLV-I/II differentiation
  • Human retrovirus
  • Risk groups
  • Serology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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