Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Virol. 2004 Dec;31(4):275-82.

Quantitation of HTLV-I and II proviral load using real-time quantitative PCR with SYBR Green chemistry.

Author information

  • 1Blood Systems Research Institute, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.



Human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is linked etiologically with adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparsis (HAM/TSP). Human T-lymphotropic virus type II (HTLV-II) is associated with HAM/TSP and, in HIV coinfected patients only, rare cases of cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Proviral load may be important in the pathogenesis of HTLV-associated disease.


A real time quantitative PCR assay using SYBR Green intercalation was established. Primers targeting the tax region were standardized against MT2 and MOT cell line DNA for HTLV-I and HTLV-II, respectively. HTLV-I/II copy number was normalized to the amount of cellular DNA by quantitation of the HLA-DQ alpha gene. We measured proviral load in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in a large cohort of 120 HTLV-I and 335 HTLV-II seropositive former blood donors. We also assessed the intra- and inter-assay reproducibility of the assay.


Proviral load for HTLV-I infected patients ranged from 3.1 x 10(0) to 1.8 x 10(5)copies/10(6) PBMCs with a mean of 1.6 x 10(4) and a median of 3.0 x 10(3). HTLV-I was undetectable in 7 of 120 cases (5.8%). Proviral load for HTLV-II infected patients ranged from 1.1 x 10(0) to 1.0 x 10(6)copies/10(6) PBMCs with a mean of 2.8 x 10(4) and a median of 5.0 x 10(2). HTLV-II was undetectable in 31 out of 335 cases (9.3%).


The assay has excellent dynamic range from 10(6) to 10(0)copies/reaction, good intra- and inter-assay reproducibility, and a lower limit of detection of a single copy per reaction. The sensitivity and high dynamic range allow determination of a broad range of HTLV-I/II proviral load in clinical subjects. This assay will facilitate the study of the relationship between proviral load and pathogenesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk