Detection of proviral human T-cell lymphotrophic virus type I DNA in mouthwash samples of HAM/TSP patients and HTLV-I carriers

A. Achiron, O. Pinhas-Hamiel, Y. Barak, L. Doll, D. Offen, R. Djaldetti, G. Frankel, B. Shohat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus type I (HTLV-I), is a member of the oncogenic retroviruses family endemic in several parts of the world and also recently identified in the Jewish Mashhadi population who immigrated from Iran to Israel. The virus is the causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and a chronic myelopathy known both as tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP) or HTLV-I associated myelopathy (HAM). The known modes of HTLV-I transmission are by sexual intercourse, from mother to child in breast milk, via blood transfusion, and by sharing of needles by parenteral drug users. In the present study we examined the presence of HTLV-I provirus genomic DNA by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and by DNA hybridization in mouthwash samples obtained from 13 Mashhadi-born Iranian Jews with spastic paraparesis associated with HTLV-I, 4 Mashhadi-born Iranian Jews asymptomatic carriers for HTLV-I and 21 healthy controls. Proviral HTLV-I DNA was detected by mouthwash PCR in 12 of 17 HTLV-I infected subjects (71%) but in none of 21 controls. Proviral DNA was also detected in mouthwash samples using HTLV-I probe by dot blot hybridization assay. The presence of HTLV-I proviral DNA in whole saliva may suggest a possible transmission of the virus via saliva and explain the increased rate of infection in elderly Mashhadi-Jewish population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Virology
Volume141
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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