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SAGE Open Med. 2019 Apr 16;7:2050312119843706. doi: 10.1177/2050312119843706. eCollection 2019.

Prevalence of human T-lymphotropic virus 1/2 in Nigeria's capital territory and meta-analysis of Nigerian studies.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
Department of Biosciences, COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Public Health, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.



This study was aimed at determining human T-lymphotropic virus 1/2 prevalence among apparently healthy, immunocompromised and haematologic malignant individuals in Nigeria's capital, as well as meta-analysis of all Nigerian studies until date.


A total of 200 participants were recruited into a cross-sectional study. In total, 1 mL each of sera and plasma were obtained from 5 mL blood of each participant and analysed for antibodies to human T-lymphotropic virus 1/2 using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; positive samples confirmed with qualitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, followed by statistical and meta-analysis. Sociodemographic characteristics and possible risk factors were assessed via questionnaires.


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay yielded 1% prevalence which was confirmed to be zero via polymerase chain reaction. A total of 119 (59.5%) of the participants were male, while the mean age was 35.28 ± 13.61 years. Apart from sex and blood reception/donation, there was generally a low rate of exposure to human T-lymphotropic virus-associated risk factors. Meta-analysis revealed pooled prevalence of human T-lymphotropic virus 1 and 2 to be 3% and 0%, respectively, from Nigerian studies.


This study discovered zero prevalence of human T-lymphotropic virus 1/2 from five major hospitals in Nigeria's capital, exposing the importance of confirmatory assays after positive antibody detection assay results. Meta-analysis highlighted the existence of very few reliable Nigerian studies compared to the demography of the nation. Large-scale epidemiological studies and routine screening of risk populations are therefore needed since Nigeria lies in the region of endemicity.


HTLV; blood donors; haematologic malignancies; leukaemia; lymphoma; lymphoproliferative disorders

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of conflicting interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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