Seroprevalence of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type-1 (HTLV-1) in High Risk Patients

A Karimi, M Nafisi


Background: Human T-lymphotropic virus type I is the etiologic agent of two distinct human diseases, adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma and a chronic, progressive demyelinating disorder. The aim of this work was to investigate the seroprevalence of HTLV-1/2 among high risk patients (thalassemic and hemodialysis) in Charmahal-va-Baktiari Province, center of Iran.

Methods: Using ELISA, a total of 357 serum samples from the patients were tested for HTLV specific antibody during first 6 month of 2005. Seventy percent of samples were thalassemics and 30% were hemodialysis patients. All of the ELISA positive samples were confirmed by Western blotting (WB) analysis.

Results: Using ELISA, 27 of 357 (7.6%) serum samples tested positive for HTLV-1 specific antibody of which 18 (7.2%) were thalassemic and 9 (8.4%) were hemodialysis patients. The WB results showed that of 27 samples tested positive by ELISA, 24 (89%) were HTLV-1 and 3 (11%) were not confirmed.

Conclusion: The relatively high seroprevalence of HTLV-1 among both thalassemic and hemodialysis patients was determined in this province. This might indicate this region as an endemic area for this virus. However, to approve this hypothesis, the prevalence of this virus in the blood donors has to be determined.


HTLV-1, ELISA, Western blotting, Iran

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