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Endemic versus epidemic viral spreads display distinct patterns of HTLV-2b replication.

  • Gabet, Anne-Sophie
  • Moulés, Vincent
  • Sibon, David
  • Nass, Catharie C
  • Mortreux, Franck
  • Mauclère, Philippe
  • Gessain, Antoine
  • Murphy, Edward L
  • Wattel, Eric
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2006
eScholarship - University of California
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As the replication pattern of leukemogenic PTLVs possesses a strong pathogenic impact, we investigated HTLV-2 replication in vivo in asymptomatic carriers belonging into 2 distinct populations infected by the same HTLV-2b subtype. They include epidemically infected American blood donors, in whom HTLV-2b has been present for only 30 years, and endemically infected Bakola Pygmies from Cameroon, characterized by a long viral endemicity (at least few generations). In blood donors, both the circulating proviral loads and the degree of infected cell proliferation were largely lower than those characterizing asymptomatic carriers infected with leukemogenic PTLVs (HTLV-1, STLV-1). This might contribute to explain the lack of known link between HTLV-2b infection and the development of malignancies in this population. In contrast, endemically infected individuals displayed high proviral loads resulting from the extensive proliferation of infected cells. The route and/or the duration of infection, viral genetic drift, host immune response, genetic background, co-infections or a combination thereof might have contributed to these differences between endemically and epidemically infected subjects. As the clonality pattern observed in endemically infected individuals is very reminiscent of that of leukemogenic PTLVs at the pre-leukemic stage, our results highlight the possible oncogenic effect of HTLV-2b infection in such population.

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