HTLV-I/HTLV-II infection

Key information

Appropriate Tests


HTLV Ab. HTLV-I/II antibodies with confirmation of positive results by western blot.

Proviral load assays in neurological disease, lymphoma and blood borne virus exposure.



Mother to child



See Sexually transmitted diseases.

Intravenous drug use


Blood products

Routine HTLV Ab (HTLV-I/II antibody) testing of blood, semen and tissue donors.

See Blood transfusion.

Associated disease




Adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma

Full blood count, Calcium, Bone marrow biopsy (aspiration and trephine) with Lymphocyte immunophenotyping, Molecular genetics.

Skin biopsy of affected area.

Tropical spastic paraparesis


HTLV-I associated myelopathy

Cerebrospinal fluid examination may be normal or show slight protein elevation with increased mononuclear cells.

Chronic progressive myelopathy




Occasional cases of spastic paraparesis and myelopathy have been associated with HTLV-II infection.


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