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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases

On-line version ISSN 1678-9199

J. Venom. Anim. Toxins incl. Trop. Dis vol.9 no.1 Botucatu  2003 

HTLV-I/II seroprevalence and risk factors in pregnant women treated at primary health units in the municipality of Botucatu.



THESIS: J. O. Neto submitted this thesis for his Doctorate in Tropical Diseases at Botucatu School of Medicine, São Paulo State University, UNESP, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil, 2001.

Advisor: Professor Domingos Alves Meira

Address to correspondence



ABSTRACT: Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I, the first human retrovirus to be identified, is associated with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, a myelopathy associated with HTLV-I/spastic tropical paraparesis. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type II, with similar characteristics to HTLV-I, has not been definitely associated with any disease. HTLV-I infection occurs all over the world and is endemic in southeastern Japan, the Caribbean, Africa, and South America. The virus is transmitted through mother’s milk, sexual contact, blood transfusion, intravenous drug use, and by the percutaneous route. Seroprevalence in blood donors is better known than in pregnant women. Some countries, such as Brazil require mandatory testing of donors for HTLV-I/II infection. Some studies have revealed that the predominant risk factors in prostitutes and blood donors are sexual contact and the use of injectable drugs. Some investigators have suggested that the characteristic of being from an endemic area could be used to screen women to for HTLV-I/II infection testing. In countries where these viruses are prevalent in local inhabitants, these measures are insufficient to guarantee the quality of transfused blood or that mother’s milk is free from viral contamination. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of HTLV-I/II in pregnant women treated at Primary Health Units in the municipality of Botucatu and to identify infection risk factors. Seroprevalence was 0.11% (1 in 913) for both HTLV-I and HTLV-II. From these pregnant women, the only relatives infected by HTLV-II were the husbands. HTLV-I/II-infected women were investigated for skin color, number of partners, drug use, blood transfusion, tattoos, and sexual relations with drug-using transfused or tattooed partners, and compared to 46 non-HTLVI/II-infected pregnant women.

Key words: HTLV-I, HTLV-II, pregnant women, risk factors.



Address to correspondence
J. O. Neto
Departamento de Doenças Tropicais e Diagnóstico por Imagem, Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, UNESP
Distrito Rubião Junior, s/n
18618-000, Botucatu, SP, Brasil

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