Infection with human T lymphotropic virus type I in organ transplant donors and recipients in Spain

TitleInfection with human T lymphotropic virus type I in organ transplant donors and recipients in Spain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsToro C, Benito R, Aguilera A, Bassani S, Rodriguez C, Calderon E, Caballero E, Alvarez P, Garcia J, Rodriguez-Iglesias M, Guelar A, del Romero J, Soriano V
JournalJ Med Virol
Pagination268 - 70
Date PublishedJun
ISSN0146-6615 (Print) 0146-6615 (Linking)
Accession Number15834870
Keywords*Tissue Donors, *Transplantation, HTLV-I Antibodies / blood, HTLV-I Infections / *epidemiology, Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / *classification / immunology / *isolation &, Humans, purification, Seroepidemiologic Studies, Spain / epidemiology

Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) antibody screening is not recommended uniformly before transplantation in Western countries. In the year 2001, the first cases of HTLV-I infection acquired through organ transplantation from one asymptomatic carrier were reported in Europe. All three organ recipients developed a subacute myelopathy shortly after transplantation. This report rose the question about whether to implement universal anti-HTLV screening of all organ donors or selective screening of donors from endemic areas for HTLV-I infection should be carried out. A national survey was conducted thereafter in which anti-HTLV antibodies were tested in 1,298 organ transplant donors and 493 potential recipients. None was seropositive for HTLV-I and only one recipient, a former intravenous (i.v.) drug user, was found to be infected with HTLV-II. In a different survey, HTLV screening was conducted in 1,079 immigrants and 5 (0.5%) were found to be asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers. All came from endemic areas for HTLV-I infection. No cases of HTLV-II infection were found among immigrants. These results support the current policy of mandatory testing of anti-HTLV antibodies in Spain only among organ transplant donors coming from HTLV-I endemic areas or with a highly suspicion of HTLV-I infection.

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