Increased replication of HTLV-I in HTLV-I-associated myelopathy

Ann Neurol. 1989 Sep;26(3):331-5. doi: 10.1002/ana.410260304.


To estimate the replication of the human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) in patients with HTLV-I-associated myelopathy (HAM), or tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP), HTLV-I DNA integrated into lymphocyte genomes was analyzed by Southern blot hybridization. HTLV-I DNA was detected in 125 (82%) of 153 patients and most showed random integration. This incidence was much higher than the 29% found in asymptomatic carriers. Therefore, HAM/TSP development is associated with a high level of HTLV-I replication. In addition, lymphocytes from 3 patients with HAM/TSP showed monoclonal integration of HTLV-I DNA, indicating adult T-cell leukemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • DNA Replication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / microbiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Diseases / microbiology*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic / microbiology*
  • Virus Replication*