Journal Article

Infective Dermatitis and Human T Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1–Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis in Childhood and Adolescence

Janeusa Rita L. Primo, Carlos Brites, Maria de Fátima S. P. de Oliveira, Otávio Moreno-Carvalho, Marcos Machado and Achilùa L. Bittencourt

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 41, issue 4, pages 535-541
Published in print August 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/432058
Infective Dermatitis and Human T Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1–Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis in Childhood and Adolescence

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Background. Human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)–associated infective dermatitis (IDH) is a chronic and recurrent eczema occurring during childhood and adolescence. HTLV-1–associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a chronic myelopathy of adulthood, presenting with slowly progressive spastic paraparesis and sphincter dysfunction with mild sensory involvement. There are few reports describing an association between IDH and HAM/TSP. The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of HAM/TSP in patients with IDH and in seropositive members of their families and to determine the blood levels of antibodies against HTLV-1 in patients with HAM/TSP.

Methods. Twenty patients with IDH and their seropositive mothers and siblings underwent clinical, neurological, and laboratory evaluations. The diagnosis of HAM/TSP was made in accordance with the World Health Organization criteria.

Results. Nine individuals had HAM/TSP (6 of the patients with IDH, 2 mothers, and 1 seropositive brother). In 3 families, >1 individual had HAM/TSP. The serum antibody titers of the patients with HAM/TSP varied from 1 : 3.125 to 1 : 78.125.

Conclusions. A strong association was observed between IDH and HAM/TSP. The familial clustering of both diseases suggests a genetic background. Serological screening for HTLV-1 in children with symptoms of myelopathy is essential in areas where HTLV-1 is endemic.

Journal Article.  4198 words.  Illustrated.

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

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