Genetic characterization of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 in mozambique: Transcontinental lineages drive the HTLV-1 endemic

Ana Carolina P. Vicente, Eduardo Samo Gudo, Alena Mayo Iñiguez, Koko Otsuki, Nilesh Bhatt, Celina M. Abreu, Adolfo Vubil, Dulce Bila, Orlando C. Ferreira, Amílcar Tanuri, Ilesh V. Jani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). It has been estimated that 10-20 million people are infected worldwide, but no successful treatment is available. Recently, the epidemiology of this virus was addressed in blood donors from Maputo, showing rates from 0.9 to 1.2%. However, the origin and impact of HTLV endemic in this population is unknown.Objective:To assess the HTLV-1 molecular epidemiology in Mozambique and to investigate their relationship with HTLV-1 lineages circulating worldwide.Methods:Blood donors and HIV patients were screened for HTLV antibodies by using enzyme immunoassay, followed by Western Blot. PCR and sequencing of HTLV-1 LTR region were applied and genetic HTLV-1 subtypes were assigned by the neighbor-joining method. The mean genetic distance of Mozambican HTLV-1 lineages among the genetic clusters were determined. Human mitochondrial (mt) DNA analysis was performed and individuals classified in mtDNA haplogroups.Results:LTR HTLV-1 analysis demonstrated that all isolates belong to the Transcontinental subgroup of the Cosmopolitan subtype. Mozambican HTLV-1 sequences had a high inter-strain genetic distance, reflecting in three major clusters. One cluster is associated with the South Africa sequences, one is related with Middle East and India strains and the third is a specific Mozambican cluster. Interestingly, 83.3% of HIV/HTLV-1 co-infection was observed in the Mozambican cluster. The human mtDNA haplotypes revealed that all belong to the African macrohaplogroup L with frequencies representatives of the country.Conclusions:The Mozambican HTLV-1 genetic diversity detected in this study reveals that although the strains belong to the most prevalent and worldwide distributed Transcontinental subgroup of the Cosmopolitan subtype, there is a high HTLV diversity that could be correlated with at least 3 different HTLV-1 introductions in the country. The significant rate of HTLV-1a/HIV-1C co-infection, particularly in the Mozambican cluster, has important implications for the controls programs of both viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1038
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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