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Immunogenetics of HTLV-I/II and associated diseases.

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  • 1Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Japan.


The ethnic background of human T-lymphotropic virus types I and II (HTLV-I/II) infections and associated diseases was investigated in association with human leukocyte antigens (HLA) (alleles) and haplotypes. Japanese HTLV-I carriers were characterized by two categories of HLA class I antigens (A24, A26, B7, B61, Cw1, and Cw7) and class II alleles (DRB1 *0101, 0803, 1403, 1501, and 1502 and DQB1 *0303, 0501, and 0601); one category was associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) patients and the other with HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) patients. The ATL-associated haplotypes had unique DRB1-DQB1 alleles (0901-0303, 1501-0602, 1401-0503), which were correlated with a low immune responsiveness to HTLV-I, while the HAM/TSP haplotypes had different DRB1-DQB1 alleles (0101-0501, 0803-0601, 1502-0601), which were correlated with a high immune responsiveness to HTLV-I. Both ATL- and HAM/TSP-associated haplotypes were found among HTLV-I carriers and the patients from other ethnic groups (Jamaican blacks, Andes natives, South American mestizos, and Mashhadi Jews). HLA haplotypes of HTLV-II carriers were different from those of HTLV-I carriers among South American natives. These results suggested that HTLV-I/II infections and the associated diseases might be determined by immunogenetic factors segregated with HLA alleles and haplotypes.

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