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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 May;81(9):2886-9.

Pseudotypes of human T-cell leukemia virus types 1 and 2: neutralization by patients' sera.


Pseudotypes of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) bearing envelope antigens of human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) types 1 and 2 were prepared by propagating VSV in cells lines productively infected with HTLV. Plaque assays of VSV (HTLV) pseudotypes were employed to determine the presence of (i) HTLV receptors on cells and (ii) neutralizing antibodies in the serum of patients with adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATLL). Cell surface receptors for HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 were found on nonlymphoid cells of human and mammalian origin. Neutralizing antibodies specific to VSV(HTLV-1) were found in sera of ATLL patients in titers varying from 1:50 to 1:30,000 and did not correlate closely with antibody titers for internal viral antigens. Sera from ATLL patients in the United Kingdom (Caribbean immigrants), United States, and Japan completely neutralized VSV (HTLV-1), indicating that the HTLV isolates from these distinct geographic regions represent a single envelope serotype. Neutralization of VSV (HTLV-1) was more specific and more sensitive than assays of syncytium inhibition. No cross-neutralization was observed between bovine leukosis virus and HTLV, and only limited cross-reaction was found for envelope antigens of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. These studies show that VSV (HTLV) pseudotypes can be readily used to screen for neutralizing antibodies in patients' sera and to distinguish HTLV envelope serotypes.

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