Diagnosis and differentiation of htlv-i and htlv-ii infection by enzyme immunoassays using synthetic peptides

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Summary: Synthetic peptides from the major envelope protein of HTLV-I (ENV-I, amino acid 177–213) and HTLV-II (ENV-II, amino acid 173–209) and a conserved region of the transmembrane protein (TM, amino acid 378–402) were used as antigens in microtiter plate enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect and discriminate antibodies to HTLV-I and II. The ENV-I and ENV-II peptide EIAs were able to correctly discriminate HTLV-I and II infections in 17 of 18 subjects whose infections were determined by a gene amplification method. Sera from 100 of 107 subjects with serologically confirmed infection with HTLV-I/II and 0 of 218 seronegative controls reacted with one or more of the peptides (sensitivity, 93.5%; specificity, 100%). Ninety-six of the 100 peptide positive sera reacted exclusively with either the ENV-I or the ENV-II peptide, thereby differentiating the two viral infections. The pattern of reactivity to the ENV peptides was distinct in different populations. Patients attending an Emergency Department, who had a history of drug abuse, and male inmate entering a correctional facility only had antibody reactivity to the ENV-II peptide. Subjects from Haiti and patients with HTLV-associated neurological disease only had antibody reactivity to the ENV-I peptide. Peptide-based enzyme immunoassays that distinguish antibodies to HTLV-I and HTLV-II will facilitate studies of the epidemiology of HTLV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1190-1197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • Envelope proteins
  • Enzyme immunoassay
  • HTLV-I
  • Synthetic peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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