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

Aspectos clínicos e epidemiológicos da infecção pelo vírus linfotrópico de células T humanas do tipo 2 (HTLV-II) em São Paulo, Brasil: presença de paraparesia espástica tropical/mielopatia associada ao HTLV em pacientes co-infectados pelo HIV-1

Maria Paulina Posada-Vergara Patrícia Montanheiro Ligia M.I. Fukumori Francisco Bonasser Alberto José da Silva Duarte Augusto Cesar Penalva de Oliveira Jorge Casseb About the authors

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.

HTLV-II; Co-infection; Neurological manifestation; TSP/HAM simile

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