Seroprevalence of HTLV-I and HTLV-II infection among immigrants in northern Italy

F. Ansaldi, M. Comar, P. D'Agaro, S. Grainfenberghi, L. Caimi, F. Gargiulo, B. Bruzzone, R. Gasparini, G. Icardi, F. Perandin, C. Campello, Nino Manca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To assess the prevalence of human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-I) and 2 (HTLV-II) infection and the associated risk factors among immigrants living in Northern Italy, we surveyed 3017 open-population subjects from three geographical areas and 371 prisoners. In the open population, the overall prevalence was 0.3% for HTLV-I and 0.1% for HTLV-II, while among prisoners, HTLV-I and HTLV-II infection were detected in 1.4 and 0.8% of subjects, respectively. HTLV-I prevalence was higher in subjects with multiple sexual partners or sexually transmitted diseases. This association was significant in the open-population group and close to significance in prisoners. Multivariate analysis showed that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity remained significantly associated with HTLV-I infection in both targeted populations (OR: 11.2 in the open population; OR: 9.9 among prisoners), whereas sexual exposure was associated with HTLV-I seropositivity only for prisoners (OR: 14.3). No independent variable was related to HTLV-II infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-588
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 and type 2
  • Immigrants
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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