The Impact of Immune Response on HTLV-I in HTLV-I-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP)

Document Type: Review Article


1 Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases Research Centre, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Allergy Research Centre, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Human T lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is a retrovirus which is associated with adult T cells leukaemia (ATL) and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in a minority of HTLV-I-infected individuals. It is not clear why a minority of HTLV-I-infected individuals develop HAM/TSP and majority remains lifelong carriers. It seems that the interaction between the virus and the immune response plays an important role in HTLV-I-associated diseases. Although the role of the immune response in HTLV-I pathogenesis is not fully understood, however it seems that the efficacy of the immune response which is involved in controlling or limiting of viral persistence determines the outcome of HTLV-I-associated diseases. Here we discuss the role of innate and adaptive immune response and also the risk factors contribute to the observed differences between HAM/TSP patients and asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers.


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