Human T-cell leukemia viruses: Epidemiology, biology, and pathogenesis

O. C. Ferreira, V. Planelles, J. D. Rosenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The human T-cell lymphotropic viruses type I and type II are closely related human retroviruses that have similar biological properties, genetic organization and tropism for T lymphocytes. Along with the simian T-cell lymphoma virus type I, they define the group of retroviruses known as the primate T-cell leukemia/lymphoma viruses. Initially identified in 1980, the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I has been implicated as the etiologic agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and of a degenerative neurologic disorder known as tropical spastic paraparesis or human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I-associated myelopathy. The intriguing link between human T-cell lymphotropic virus type, T-cell malignancy, and a totally unrelated and non-overlapping neurological disorder suggests divergent and unique pathogenetic mechanisms. This review will address the epidemiology, molecular biology, and pathogenesis of human T-cell leukemia viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-104
Number of pages14
JournalBlood Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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