Discovery of a new human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-3) in Central Africa

Retrovirology. 2005 May 9;2:30. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-2-30.

Abstract

Human T-cell Leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and type 2 (HTLV-2) are pathogenic retroviruses that infect humans and cause severe hematological and neurological diseases. Both viruses have simian counterparts (STLV-1 and STLV-2). STLV-3 belongs to a third group of lymphotropic viruses which infect numerous African monkeys species. Among 240 Cameroonian plasma tested for the presence of HTLV-1 and/or HTLV-2 antibodies, 48 scored positive by immunofluorescence. Among those, 27 had indeterminate western-blot pattern. PCR amplification of pol and tax regions, using HTLV-1, -2 and STLV-3 highly conserved primers, demonstrated the presence of a new human retrovirus in one DNA sample. tax (180 bp) and pol (318 bp) phylogenetic analyses demonstrated the strong relationships between the novel human strain (Pyl43) and STLV-3 isolates from Cameroon. The virus, that we tentatively named HTLV-3, originated from a 62 years old Bakola Pygmy living in a remote settlement in the rain forest of Southern Cameroon. The plasma was reactive on MT2 cells but was negative on C19 cells. The HTLV 2.4 western-blot exhibited a strong reactivity to p19 and a faint one to MTA-1. On the INNO-LIA strip, it reacted faintly with the generic p19 (I/II), but strongly to the generic gp46 (I/II) and to the specific HTLV-2 gp46. The molecular relationships between Pyl43 and STLV-3 are thus not paralleled by the serological results, as most of the STLV-3 infected monkeys have an "HTLV-2 like" WB pattern. In the context of the multiple interspecies transmissions which occurred in the past, and led to the present-day distribution of the PTLV-1, it is thus very tempting to speculate that this newly discovered human retrovirus HTLV-3 might be widespread, at least in the African continent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cameroon
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Deltaretrovirus / classification*
  • Deltaretrovirus / genetics
  • Deltaretrovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Deltaretrovirus Infections / virology
  • Gene Products, pol / genetics
  • Gene Products, tax / genetics
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Primate T-lymphotropic virus 3
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA

Substances

  • DNA, Viral
  • Gene Products, pol
  • Gene Products, tax

Associated data

  • GENBANK/DQ020493