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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


POSADA-VERGARA, Maria Paulina et al. Clinical and epidemiological aspects of HTLV-II infection in São Paulo, Brazil: presence of Tropical Spastic Paraparesis/HTLV-Associated Myelopathy (TSP/HAM) simile diagnosis in HIV-1-co-infected subjects. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 2006, vol.48, n.4, pp.207-210. ISSN 1678-9946.

In this study, the epidemiological and clinical features observed in solely HTLV-II-infected individuals were compared to those in patients co-infected with HIV-1. A total of 380 subjects attended at the HTLV Out-Patient Clinic in the Institute of Infectious Diseases "Emilio Ribas" (IIER), São Paulo, Brazil, were evaluated every 3-6 months for the last seven years by infectious disease specialists and neurologists. Using a testing algorithm that employs the enzyme immuno assay, Western Blot and polymerase chain reaction, it was found that 201 (53%) were HTLV-I positive and 50 (13%) were infected with HTLV-II. Thirty-seven (74%) of the HTLV-II reactors were co-infected with HIV-1. Of the 13 (26%) solely HTLV-II-infected subjects, urinary tract infection was diagnosed in three (23%), one case of skin vasculitis (8%) and two cases of lumbar pain and erectile dysfunction (15%), but none myelopathy case was observed. Among 37 co-infected with HIV-1, four cases (10%) presented with tropical spastic paraparesis/HTLV-associated myelopathy (TSP/HAM) simile. Two patients showed paraparesis as the initial symptom, two cases first presented with vesical and erectile disturbances, peripheral neuropathies were observed in other five patients (13%), and seven (19%) patients showed some neurological signal or symptoms, most of them with lumbar pain (five cases). The results obtained suggest that neurological manifestations may be more frequent in HTLV-II/HIV-1-infected subjects than those infected with HTLV-II only.

Keywords : HTLV-II [HIV-1]; Co-infection; Neurological manifestation; TSP/HAM simile.

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