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J Infect Dis. 1999 Sep;180(3):685-94.

HTLV-I/II seroindeterminate Western blot reactivity in a cohort of patients with neurological disease.

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Viral Immunology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is associated with a chronic, progressive neurological disease known as HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. Screening for HTLV-I involves the detection of virus-specific serum antibodies by EIA and confirmation by Western blot. HTLV-I/II seroindeterminate Western blot patterns have been described worldwide. However, the significance of this blot pattern is unclear. We identified 8 patients with neurological disease and an HTLV-I/II seroindeterminate Western blot pattern, none of whom demonstrated increased spontaneous proliferation and HTLV-I-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity. However, HTLV-I tax sequence was amplified from the peripheral blood lymphocytes of 4 of them. These data suggest that patients with chronic progressive neurological disease and HTLV-I/II Western blot seroindeterminate reactivity may harbor either defective HTLV-I, novel retrovirus with partial homology to HTLV-I, or HTLV-I in low copy number.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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