Journal Article

No evidence of vertical transmission of HTLV-I and HTLV-II in children at high risk for HIV-1 infection from Sao Paulo, Brazil

A Caterion-de Araujo and E de los Santos-Fortuna

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 45, issue 1, pages 42-47
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
No evidence of vertical transmission of HTLV-I and HTLV-II in children at high risk for HIV-1 infection from Sao Paulo, Brazil

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One hundred and seven plasma specimens obtained from children born to HIV-1 infected mothers were tested for the presence of antibody to human T-cell lymphotropic virus types I and II (HTLV-I and II) to determine perinatal transmission of these agents. None of the children in this study were breastfed. Fifty-five specimens were from HIV-1 status could not be defined. In these series when ELISA screening tests were employed, HTLV antibodies were detected in 54.5, 17.8, and 27.5 per cent of cases, respectively, given an overall ratio of 41.1 per cent. Western blot analysis disclosed 17 specimens with some HTLV reactivity: three were classified as HTLV-I/II, two confirmed as having a HTLV-I Western blot profile, and the last 12 samples showed reactivity to only one of the protein (gag or env) components. In 11 out of 17 cases molecular approaches were used to confirm HTLV infection in children; no case of HTLV-I or -II was detected. In contrast, when 13 specimens of mother-child pairs were analysed, three mothers' plasma samples which were seropositive were confirmed to have HTLV infection by PCR analysis; one case of HTLV-I and two cases of HTLV-II infections were detected. Taking into account the age of the children and their Western blot profiles, passive maternal antibodies could be detected until the age of 15 months. Indeed, after the age of 18 months seroreactivity amongst the children, with ELISA and Western blot assays, suggests the presence of maternal antibodies that resist degradation and/or antibodies that cross-react with rgp21 or p19 antigens from HTLV, or alternatively, with components of the HIV-1. These results emphasize the lack of HTLV-I and -II vertical transmission in children at high risk who are not breastfed.

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Subjects: Paediatrics ; Antitrust Issues and Policies

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