Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes disabling and fatal diseases, yet there is no vaccine, no satisfactory treatment, and no means of assessing the risk of disease or prognosis in infected people. Recent research on the molecular virology and immunology of HTLV-1 shows the importance of the host's immune response in reducing the risk of these diseases, and is beginning to explain why some HTLV-1 infected people develop serious illnesses whereas most remain healthy life long carriers of the virus. These findings might be applicable to other persistent virus infections such as human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
- human T lymphotropic virus type 1
- adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma
- tropical spastic paraparesis
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