A typical person infected with the retrovirus human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) carries tens of thousands of clones of HTLV-1-infected T lymphocytes, each clone distinguished by a unique integration site of the provirus in the host genome. However, only 5% of infected people develop the malignant disease adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma, usually more than 50 years after becoming infected. We review the host and viral factors that cause this aggressive disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Virology
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


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