Atopic dermatitis and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy: Associated or coincidental disorders?

Michael Shohat*, D. Ben Amitai, B. Shohat, R. Mosberg, R. Narinski, T. Klein, E. Okon, P. Roizman, E. P. Cowan, R. Alexander, M. David

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reports from Jamaica have indicated that some patients with infective dermatitis or atopic dermatitis (AD) are seropositive for antibodies to human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). We describe a 32-year-old Israeli woman with long-term AD and paresthesia in the distal parts of the extremities. Neurological examination revealed a positive Babinski's sign. HLA typing demonstrated that this patient has the common HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and infective dermatitis haplotype for DRB1* DQB1*. The presence of HTLV-1 was demonstrated with polymerase chain reaction; HTLV-1-antibodies were detected by the Western blot method and by inoculation of the patient's peripheral blood mononuclear cells into F344 rats. This study confirms the presence of HTLV-1 antibodies and proviral genome in a patient with AD which later evolved into HAM/TSP. We cannot yet conclude whether these two diseases are associated or coincidental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-360
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • HTLV-1-associated myelopathy
  • Human T lymphotropic virus


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