AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses vol:11 issue:2 pages:315-8
A type-specific serological survey among 1042 random nonneurological outpatients in two cities in the state of Ceara (northeastern Brazil) shows a low prevalence of HTLV-I (0.34% in Fortaleza; 0.44% in Crato) and of HTLV-II (0.34% in Fortaleza; 0% in Crato). Among 62 chronic myelopathic patients seen in Fortaleza 27 patients were found with clinical features of tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP); 10 of 27 were found HTLV-I seropositive (37%; 95% confidence limits, 19-58%). Proviral genome detection by polymerase chain reaction in 5 seropositive and 12 seronegative patients confirmed the serological findings. This excludes HTLV-I or -II infection as a cause in the seronegative TSP patients. The HTLV-positive and -negative patients did not differ clinically and by history, except that seropositives had a longer mean disease duration, a female predominance, and a higher proportion of white Caucasians. In this population with low HTLV-I and HTLV-II prevalences, HTLV-negative TSP is at least as frequent as the HTLV-I-associated TSP.