Supported in part by contracts NO1-HB-97077 (superseded by 47114), -97078, -97079,- 97081, and -97082 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Absence of evidence of infection with divergent primate T-lymphotropic viruses in United States blood donors who have seroindeterminate HTLV test results
Article first published online: 24 APR 2002
Volume 40, Issue 4, pages 443–449, April 2000
How to Cite
Busch, M.P., Switzer, W.M., Murphy, E.L., Thomson, R., Heneine, W. and for the Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study (2000), Absence of evidence of infection with divergent primate T-lymphotropic viruses in United States blood donors who have seroindeterminate HTLV test results. Transfusion, 40: 443–449. doi: 10.1046/j.1537-2995.2000.40040443.x
- Issue published online: 24 APR 2002
- Article first published online: 24 APR 2002
- Received: 02 September 1998; Revised: 20 August 1999; Accepted: 09 September 1999
- HAM = HTLV-I-associated myelopathy; PTLV(s) = primate T-cell lymphoma;
- leukemia virus(es); REDS = Retrovirus Epidemiology Donors Study; STLV = simian T-lymphotropic viruses; TSP = tropical spastic paraparesis; WB(s) = Western blot(s)
BACKGROUND: Recent identification of divergent simian or primate T-lymphotropic viruses (STLVs; PTLVs) in bonobos (formerly called pygmy chimpanzees; Pan paniscus; viruses: STLVpan-p and STLVpp1664) and a baboon (Papio hamadryas; viruses: STLVph969 or PTLV-L) have raised the possibility of human infection with these viruses. Divergent PTLV-infected primate sera show p24 bands on HTLV-I Western blots (WBs). It was investigated whether infection by divergent PTLV-like viruses could explain a subset of United States blood donors who reacted on HTLV-I EIAs and had indeterminate HTLV-I WBs with p24 bands.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Epidemiologic characteristics of 1889 donors with HTLV-I-indeterminate WBs were compared to those of donors with confirmed retrovirus infections (393 with HIV, 201 with HTLV-I, 513 with HTLV-II) and 1.6 million donors with nonreactive screening tests. To directly probe for infection with divergent PTLVs, 2 HTLV-I-indeterminate donors born in Africa and 269 representative non-African-born donors with p24 bands on HTLV-I WBs (previously shown to be negative for HTLV-I and -II DNA by PCR) were selected for PTLV PCR analysis. DNA from peripheral blood MNC samples was tested for a proviral tax sequence by PCR using generic primers that amplify HTLV-I, HTLV-II, and the divergent PTLVs. Amplified tax sequences were detected by Southern blot hybridization to a 32P-labeled generic PTLV probe. PCR-positive samples could then be typed by hybridization with virus-specific internal probes that differentiate HTLV-I, HTLV-II, PTLV-L, and STLVpan-p.
RESULTS: In the epidemiologic analysis, HTLV-indeterminate status was independently associated with age of at least 25 years (OR = 2.19; 95% CI, 1.93-2.49), black (OR = 3.27; 95% CI, 2.90-3.67) or Hispanic (OR = 1.82; 95% CI, 1.52-2.16) race or ethnicity, and donation at one blood center (Baltimore) (OR = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.11-1.53). None of the 271 HTLV-I WB-indeterminate samples tested positive by generic PTLV PCR analysis.
CONCLUSION: Although the epidemiologic data suggest the possibility of undiagnosed HTLV-I, HTLV-II, or a cross-reactive virus such as PTLV among older, black, and Hispanic blood donors, the PCR data do not support the presence of divergent PTLV infection among US blood donors with HTLV-I-indeterminate results.¤