Journal Article

Relationship between Human T Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) Type 1/2 Viral Burden and Clinical and Treatment Parameters among Patients with HIV Type 1 and HTLV-1/2 Coinfection

Mark A. Beilke, Vicki L. Traina Dorge, Maria Sirois, Azad Bhuiyan, Edward L. Murphy, Jane M. Walls, Ryan Fagan, Elsa L. Winsor and Patricia J. Kissinger

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 44, issue 9, pages 1229-1234
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/513428
Relationship between Human T Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) Type 1/2 Viral Burden and Clinical and Treatment Parameters among Patients with HIV Type 1 and HTLV-1/2 Coinfection

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Background. Human T lymphotropic virus types 1 (HTLV-1) and 2 (HTLV-2) are frequent copathogens among individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The long-term effects of coinfection are unknown, and little information exists regarding how levels of HTLV-1/2 viral burden are affected by antiretroviral medications.

Methods. Factors associated with HTLV-1/2 viral burden were examined in patients with HIV–HTLV-1/2 coinfection. A total of 72 subjects were evaluated. The variables analyzed included HTLV-1/2 proviral load, HTLV-1/2 tax/rex mRNA expression, HIV load, HTLV-1/2 viral antigen detection in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures, T cell subsets, demographic variables (age, race, sex, and reported use of injection drugs), and administration of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Results. An HTLV-1/2 proviral DNA copy number >20,000 copies/106 PBMCs was significantly associated with the following variables: (1) a positive HTLV-1 Western blot test result, (2) a positive HTLV-1/2 PBMC culture result, (3) a positive tax/rex mRNA result, (4) an HIV load <10,000 copies/mL, and (5) higher CD4 cell counts among subjects with HIV–HTLV-1 coinfection. There was no correlation between HTLV-1/2 proviral copy number or HTLV-1/2 tax/rex mRNA detection and administration of antiretroviral therapy.

Conclusions. HTLV-1/2 proviral burden was significantly higher among patients with HIV–HTLV-1 coinfection than among patients with HIV–HTLV-2 coinfection. Highly active antiretroviral therapy may be of limited value in controlling virus expression of HTLV-1/2 in patients with HIV–HTLV-1/2 coinfection.

Journal Article.  2970 words.  Illustrated.

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

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