HTVL-I antibodies in Italian drug addicts, homosexual males, neurological patients and healthy subjects

P. Ferrante, C. E. Cocuzza, R. Mancuso, D. Caputo, P. Salvioni, E. Cattaneo, G. Achilli, C. L. Cazzullo

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HTLV-I is spreading among at risk groups for HIV infection, moreover HTLV-I plays an important role in groups with neurological diseases and is suspected of an involvement in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). For these reasons we performed a study on HTLV-I antibody prevalence in the sera of 779 drug addicts, 82 homosexual males, 272 healthy subjects, in the sera and cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) of 156 MS patients and 44 patients with other neurological diseases (OND). 13.6 per cent of the drug addicts were found positive for HTLV-I antibodies. 4.8 per cent of the homosexuals had HTLV-I antibodies while only 2 (0.7%) of the not at risk for HIV subjects showed a reactivity towards HTLV-I proteins. With regards to the neurological patients, antibodies were observed in 5 MS and 1 OND patients. Our results suggest that HTLV-I infection is spreading among the Italian groups at risk for HIV. In these groups HTLV-I antibody prevalence is higher in the drug addicts than in the homosexual males. The data about MS patients and OND suggest the presence of antibody reactivity versus viral proteins of a retroviral agent closely related to HTLV-1 but partly different.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number2 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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