Journal Article

Virus Markers Associated with Vertical Transmission of Human T Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 in Jamaica

Michie Hisada, Elizabeth M. Maloney, Takashi Sawada, Wendell J. Miley, Paulette Palmer, Barrie Hanchard, James J. Goedert and Angela Manns

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 12, pages 1551-1557
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/340537
Virus Markers Associated with Vertical Transmission of Human T Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 in Jamaica

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In a prospective study involving 150 mothers and their offspring in Jamaica, we examined maternal viral factors associated with the risk of transmission of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). Overall, the incidence of HTLV-1 infection among children was 8.3 occurrences per 1000 person-months. A higher maternal provirus level (odds ratio [OR], 1.9 per quartile) and a higher HTLV-1 antibody titer (OR, 2.2 per quartile) were independently associated with transmission to children, whereas the presence of anti-Tax antibody was not. Higher maternal antibody titers also were associated with older age at infection among children who were breast-fed for <12 months, which suggests that passively transferred maternal antibodies confer protection against infection while they persist. These data imply that mothers who have high provirus loads should be encouraged not to breast-feed. Alternatively, the successful reduction of maternal provirus loads or maintenance of passive antibody levels in infants during breast-feeding may lower the risk of transmission.

Journal Article.  3532 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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