Seroepidemiology of Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type-1 (HTLV1) in Mashhad

  •  Hamidreza Safabakhsh    
  •  Mehrdad Jalalian    
  •  Gharib Karimi    


Introduction: Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-I) is associated with adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The major routes of HTLV-I transmission are mother-to-child, sexual contact, and blood transfusion. Mashhad is one of the main endemic areas in the world for HTLV-I, and minimizing the risk of HTLV-I transmission through blood transfusion is one of the main duties of the Blood Transfusion Center in Mashhad. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HTLV-I in the blood donor population in Mashhad during 2011-2013.

Methods: All the blood donors in Mashhad from March 2011 to April 2013 who were diagnosed with HTLV-I on the ELISA screening test and the Western blot confirmatory test were included in this seroepidemiological study.

Results: From 174,662 blood donors, 327 donors were confirmed to be infected with HTLV-I according to Western blot assay. The seropositive donors ranged in age from 17 to 59, and their mean age was 39.88±10.49 years. The overall prevalence rates of HTLV-I infection were calculated as 0.18% and 0.19%, respectively.

Conclusion: Due to the lower frequency of infection in regular blood donors, younger individuals, and people with higher education levels, the selection of blood donors from these populations should be further considered.

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