Perinatal Infection of Human T-lymphotropic Virus Type I, the Etiologic Virus of Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. DNA Amplification of Specific Human T-lymphotropic Virus Type I Sequences

Cancer. 1990 Nov 1;66(9):1933-7. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19901101)66:9<1933::aid-cncr2820660914>;2-5.


A gene amplification technique, polymerase chain reaction, was used to detect human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I), the etiologic agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, in mononuclear cells in peripheral blood and breast milk of ten HTLV-I carrier gravida. The DNA in umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells of the neonates born to the HTLV-I carrier gravida were also amplified and examined for the possibility of HTLV-I infection via placenta during pregnancy. The HTLV-I sequences were detected both in the peripheral blood and milk of all ten carrier gravida by Southern blot analysis of amplified DNA. However, HTLV-I proviral DNA could not be detected in the cord blood of the carriers' neonates, indicating that transplacental infection of HTLV-I should be rare and that postpartum infection via breast milk is a likely major perinatal transmission route.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / microbiology
  • Gene Amplification*
  • HTLV-I Infections / blood
  • HTLV-I Infections / transmission
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / etiology
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / microbiology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / physiology
  • Milk, Human / microbiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology*


  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Neoplasm