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Human T-lymphotropic virus
Virus classification
Group: Group VI (ssRNA-RT)
Family: Retroviridae'
Subfamily: Orthoretrovirinae
Genus: Deltaretrovirus
Species: Simian T-lymphotropic virus

Human T-lymphotropic virus

The Human T-lymphotropic virus Type I (HTLV-1) is a human RNA retrovirus that causes T-cell leukemia and T-cell lymphoma in adults and may also be involved in certain demyelinating diseases, including tropical spastic paraparesis. The HTLV-1 genome is diploid, composed of two copies of a single-stranded RNA virus whose genome is copied into a double-stranded DNA form that integrates into the host cell genome, at which point the virus is referred to as a provirus. Adult T-lymphotropic virus (ATLV) is a strain of this disease that affects primarily adults. A closely related virus is bovine leukemia virus BLV.



HTLV-I is an abbreviation for the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1, also called the Adult T-cell lymphoma virus type 1, a virus that has been seriously implicated in several kinds of diseases including HTLV-I-associated myelopathy, Strongyloides stercoralis hyper-infection, and a virus cancer link for leukemia (see adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma). Between one in twenty and one in twenty-five infected persons are thought to develop cancer as a result of the virus.


A virus closely related to HTLV-I, HTLV-II shares approximately 70% genomic homology (structural similarity) with HTLV-I.


The terms "HTLV-III" and "HTLV-IV" have been used to describe recently characterized viruses.[1][2][3]

These viruses were discovered in 2005 in rural Cameroon, and were apparently transmitted from monkeys to hunters of monkeys through bites and scratches.

  • HTLV-III is similar to STLV-III (Simian T-lymphotropic virus 3).[citation needed] Multiple strains have been identified.[4] It expresses gag, pol, and env, among other proteins.[5]
  • HTLV-IV does not resemble any known virus.

It is not yet known how much further transmission has occurred among humans, or whether the viruses can cause disease.

The use of these names can cause some confusion, because the name HTLV-III was the former name of HIV in early AIDS literature, but has since fallen out of use.[6]. The name HTLV-IV has also been used to describe HIV-2.[7]


  1. ^ Mahieux R, Gessain A (2005). "New human retroviruses: HTLV-3 and HTLV-4". Med Trop (Mars) 65 (6): 525–8. PMID 16555510. 
  2. ^ Calattini S, Chevalier S, Duprez R, Afonso P, Froment A, Gessain A, Mahieux R (2006). "Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 3: complete nucleotide sequence and characterization of the human tax3 protein". J Virol 80 (19): 9876–88. doi:10.1128/JVI.00799-06. PMID 16973592. 
  3. ^ Mahieux R, Gessain A (May 2008). "The human HTLV-3 and HTLV-4 retroviruses: New members of the HTLV family". Pathol. Biol. 57: 161. doi:10.1016/j.patbio.2008.02.015. PMID 18456423. 
  4. ^ Calattini S, Betsem E, Bassot S, et al. (December 2008). "New Strain of Human T Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) Type 3 in a Pygmy from Cameroon with Peculiar HTLV Serologic Results". J. Infect. Dis. 199: 561. doi:10.1086/596206. PMID 19099485. 
  5. ^ Chevalier SA, Ko NL, Calattini S, et al. (July 2008). "Construction and characterization of a human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 3 infectious molecular clone". J. Virol. 82 (13): 6747–52. doi:10.1128/JVI.00247-08. PMID 18417569. PMC 2447071. 
  6. ^ MeSH Human+T-Lymphotropic+Virus+Type+III
  7. ^ MeSH Human+T+Lymphotropic+Virus+Type+IV

External links


Simple English

File:HTLV-1 and HIV-1 EM 8241
HTLV-1 and HIV-1 in a picture made with an electron microscope

Human T-lymphotropic virus is a virus. It is a kind of retrovirus. Human T-lymphotropic virus causes leukemia as well as other diseases. Currently, four kinds are known (labelled I to IV).


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