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The Prevalence and Significance of HTLV-I/II Seroindeterminate Western Blot Patterns

Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2011, 3(8), 1320-1331;
Received: 13 June 2011 / Revised: 22 July 2011 / Accepted: 23 July 2011 / Published: 2 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)


Human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) infects an estimated 15–20 million persons worldwide. A number of diseases have been associated with the virus including adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), HTLV-I uveitis, and HTLV-I-associated infective dermatitis. Once it was shown that there is an increased risk for developing HAM/TSP associated with blood transfusion, screening for HTLV-1 among blood banks was implemented in Japan, United States, France, and the Netherlands. This process includes detection by an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) followed by a confirmatory Western blot (WB) in which recombinant proteins specific for HTLV-I Env glycoproteins are incorporated into WB strips. HTLV-I seropositive results are defined by the presence of antibodies against either gp46 or gp62/68 (both Env protein bands) and either p19, p24, or p53 (one of the gag bands). HTLV-II seropositivity is confirmed by the presence of rgp46-II. However, numerous cases have been documented in which serum samples are reactive by EIA, but an incomplete banding pattern is displayed by subsequent confirmatory WB. Although the significance of these HTLV-I/II seroindeterminates is unclear, it may suggest a much higher incidence of exposure to HTLV-I/II than previously estimated.
Keywords: HTLV-I; seroindeterminate; Western blot HTLV-I; seroindeterminate; Western blot

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MDPI and ACS Style

Abrams, A.; Akahata, Y.; Jacobson, S. The Prevalence and Significance of HTLV-I/II Seroindeterminate Western Blot Patterns. Viruses 2011, 3, 1320-1331.

AMA Style

Abrams A, Akahata Y, Jacobson S. The Prevalence and Significance of HTLV-I/II Seroindeterminate Western Blot Patterns. Viruses. 2011; 3(8):1320-1331.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abrams, Anna, Yoshimi Akahata, and Steven Jacobson. 2011. "The Prevalence and Significance of HTLV-I/II Seroindeterminate Western Blot Patterns" Viruses 3, no. 8: 1320-1331.

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