HTLV-I/HTLV-II infection

Last updated: Monday, 13, December, 2010
Key InformationAppropriate Tests
HTLV-I/II antibodies with confirmation of positive results by western blot.

Mother to child


See Sexually transmitted diseases

Intravenous drug use

Blood products

Routine HTLV-I/II antibody testing of blood, semen and tissue donors. See Blood transfusion
Associated disease

Adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma

FBC; calcium; bone marrow aspiration and trephine biopsy with immunophenotyping, molecular genetics.

Skin biopsy of affected area.

Tropical spastic paraparesis

HTLV-I associated myelopathy

CSF examination may be normal or show slight protein elevation with increased mononuclear cells.

Chronic progressive myelopathy


Occasional cases of spastic paraparesis and myelopathy have been associated with HTLV-II infection.