High rate of HTLV-II infection in seropositive IV drug abusers in New Orleans

Helen Lee, Priscilia Swanson, Vernon S. Shorty, Jerome A. Zack, Joseph D. Rosenblatt, Irvin S.Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

359 Scopus citations

Abstract

Confirmed infection with HTLV-II (human T cell leukemia virus type II) has been described only in rare cases. The major limitation to serological diagnosis of HTLV-II has been the difficulty of distinguishing HTLV-II from HTLV-I (human T cell leukemia virus type I) infection, because of substantial cross-reactivity between the viruses. A sensitive modification of the polymerase chain reaction method was used to provide unambiguous molecular evidence that a significant proportion of intravenous drug abusers are infected with HTLV, and the majority of these individuals are infected with HTLV-II rather than HTLV-I. Of 23 individuals confirmed by polymerase chain reaction analysis to be infected with HTLV, 21 were identified to be infected with HTLV-II, and 2 were infected with HTLV-I. Molecular identification of an HTLV-II-infected population provides an opportunity to investigate the pathogenicity of HTLV-II in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-475
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume244
Issue number4903
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'High rate of HTLV-II infection in seropositive IV drug abusers in New Orleans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Lee, H., Swanson, P., Shorty, V. S., Zack, J. A., Rosenblatt, J. D., & Chen, I. S. Y. (1989). High rate of HTLV-II infection in seropositive IV drug abusers in New Orleans. Science, 244(4903), 471-475. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.2655084