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Molecular characterization of HTLV-1/2 among blood donors in Belém, State of Pará: first description of HTLV-2b subtype in the Amazon region

This study aimed to perform molecular characterization on the human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) infecting blood donors attended at the Hematology and Hemotherapy Center-Foundation of Pará. DNA samples from 79 HTLV-seropositive individuals were analyzed by means of the polymerase chain reaction on the pX, env and 5'LTR genomic regions; restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis; and sequencing of the 5'LTR region with subsequent phylogenetic analysis. From this, the HTLV types and subtypes circulating in the study population were defined. There was higher prevalence of HTLV-1 (71%) than of HTLV-2 (29%). HTLV-1 samples were classified as belonging to the Cosmopolitan subtype, Transcontinental subgroup; and the HTLV-2 samples as HTLV-2c. Analysis on the restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the env region and sequencing of the 5'LTR region identified a sample of HTLV-2b, for the first time in the Brazilian Amazon region. This emphasizes the need for ongoing molecular studies in this region, in order to have better understanding of the epidemiology of HTLV transmission in the population, and to enable epidemiological surveillance of the emergence of new types and subtypes.

Blood donors; Amazon region; Human T-cell lymphotropic virus among donors; Molecular characterization

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