Less than 5% of people infected with human T-lymphotropic virus type I HTLV-I-associated (HTLV-I) develop HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), a chronic progressive neurologic disease. A number of factors have been implicated in the development of HAM/TSP including heterogeneity of viral sequences, host-genetic background, viral-specific cellular immune responses and viral load. This study examined the presence of HTLV-I tax DNA in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from 2 chronic HAM/TSP patients and 2 asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers by using PCR-in situ hybridization (PCR-ISH) for the in situ presence of proviral HTLV-I tax DNA. By this technique, rare PBL from these HTLV-I-infected individuals contained HTLV-I DNA. PCR-ISH did not detect any difference in the number of infected cells between HAM/TSP patients and asymptomatic carriers.
- HTLV-I infection
- HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis
- PCR-in situ hybridization