Anti-human T-lymphotropic virus type I/II (HTLV-I/II) antibodies were screened by particle agglutination test in a total of 66 patients with thalassemia major who received multiple transfusion from paid donors at the Blood Transfusion Hematology Center of Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam. HTLV-II infection was confirmed in 6 patients (9.1%) by Western blot analysis and/or polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that long terminal repeat sequences of HTLV-II proviruses from 5 thalassemic patients in Vietnam belonged to the same phylogenetic subgroup of HTLV-IIb as those from intravenous drug abusers in North America and Europe. These data shed light on the route of introducing HTLV-II into Vietnam.
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