Jpn. J. Infect. Dis., 57, 156-159, 2004

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Original Article

Serological and Molecular Evidence of HTLV-I Infection among Japanese Immigrants Living in the Amazon Region of Brazil

Antonio Carlos R. Vallinoto*, Nilton A. Muto, Gemilson S. Pontes, Luiz Fernando A. Machado, Vania N. Azevedo, Sidney E. B. dos Santos1, Andrea K. C. Ribeiro-dos-Santos1, Marluisa O. G. Ishak and Ricardo Ishak

Laboratorio de Virologia and 1Laboratorio de Genetica Humana e Medica, Departamento de Patologia, Centro de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal do Para, Para, Brasil

(Received December 25, 2003. Accepted April 19, 2004)

*Corresponding author: Mailing address: Rua Oliveira Belo no. 238, apt. 1002, Umarizal, 66.050-380, Belem, Para, Brazil. Tel: +51-91-81158578, Fax: +55-91-249-0373, E-mail:

SUMMARY: Human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) infection was investigated in 168 Japanese immigrants (64 males and 104 females) living in the Tome-Acu county located in the State of Para, Brazil. The serological screening was performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and showed the presence of anti-HTLV in four women whose ages ranged from 50 to 88. Confirmation of infection and discrimination HTLV typing was performed using a nested PCR on the extracted DNA targeting the pX region. In three of the samples, infection was confirmed to be HTLV-I. Sequencing HTLV-I 5'LTR and the RFLP pattern using DraI and SacI endonucleases indicated that the virus is a member of the Cosmopolitan group. These three women originated from the Kyushu region, though two of the corresponding HTLV-I strains were phylogenetically related to the Japanese subgroup and the third to the Transcontinental subgroup, which probably reflects the geographical origin of the infected individuals. The Japanese community residing in the northern Brazil apparently have not contributed to increase the prevalence of HTLV-I in the country.

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