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Acta Virol. 1991 Sep;35(5):472-95.

HTLV-I virus in Europeans: the continuous spread. A meta-analysis.

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Institute of Virology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.


Published and unpublished data on the HTLV-I seroprevalence in 13 European countries (sample a total of 79.549 persons) was subject to meta-analysis. HTLV-I infection was significantly associated with intravenous drug use, HIV-I seropositivity, geographical area and immigration from endemic areas outside of Europe. Significant percentage of HTLV-I seropositivity was observed in all groups of HIV-I seropositive individuals studies. The overall HTLV-I seroprevalence was 4.16% in intravenous drug abusers, 0.66% in male homosexuals, 0.62% in immigrants from HTLV-I endemic areas and 0.015% in the general population. A major problem in these epidemiological considerations is the uncertain delineation of the serology of HTLV-I versus that of HTLV-II. There have, been no reports from Europe of the specific leukaemic and neurologic indicator diseases associated with the HTLV-I seropositivity. Presently, the HTLV-I/HIV-I co-infected individuals represent an urgent medical problem. The information available shows a need for self-exclusion of all blood donor groups at risk for HTLV-I infection and for active seroepidemiological surveillance in all parts of Europe. However, improvements in diagnostic methods, increased knowledge about the pathogenesis of infection by HTLV-I or HTLV-II virus and the probable detection of new human retroviruses may markedly influence the future requirements for preventive measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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