HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and associated diseases

Kristien Verdonck and Eduardo Gotuzzo

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

HTLV-1, HTLV-2, and associated diseases

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  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-1 and HTLV-2 belong to the genus Deltaretrovirus of the family Retroviridae. They only infect humans, produce a lifelong infection, and can be transmitted from mother to child, through sexual intercourse, and via cellular blood components. Both viruses are present in all continents. The highest HTLV-1 prevalence in the general population (10%) has been found in southern Japan. There are endemic foci of HTLV-2 among native Amerindians and Central African pygmy tribes. HTLV-2 is also frequent among injecting drug users. It is unclear why some infected people develop associated diseases while others remain asymptomatic....

Chapter.  2281 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Infectious Diseases

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