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Temporal Trends in HAM/TSP incidence in Martinique over 25 years (1986-2010): dramatic decrease since 2000


Human T-Lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) has been discovered in 1980 and linked to tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in 1985 in Martinique. There is no data on HAM/TSP incidence trends. We report, in the present work, the temporal trends incidence of HAM/TSP in Martinique based on patients diagnosed in our unique Neurology Department in HAM/TSP diagnosis and management over 25 years. Methods: A registry has been set up since 1986 and HAM/TSP characteristics were collected carefully. All patients, living in Martinique, with a definite HAM/TSP onset between 1986 and 2010 were included in the present hospital-based study. The 25-year study time was stratified in five-year and ten-year periods. Crude incidence rates with 95% confidence interval (95%CI) were calculated using Poisson distribution for each period. The denominator was based on data provided by French National Institute for Statistical and Economic Studies ( Results: Overall, 153 patients were identified (mean age at onset, 53+/-13.1 years; female: male ratio, 4:1). HAM/TSP incidence rates per 100,000 per 5 years (95%CI) in 1986-1990, 1991-1995, 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 periods were 10 (6.8-7.3), 12.6 (9-16.1), 11.5 (8.1-14.9), 4.4 (2.5-6.4) and 2 (1.4-3.5). Between the two decades (1991-2000 and 2001-2010), ten-year HAM/TSP incidence rate decreased by 75% [19.1 (14.8-23.6) versus 4.9 (2.7-7.1)]. Age at onset did not differ between the different periods. Conclusion: There has been a significant decrease (75%) in HAM/TSP incidence in Martinique in the last decade. Prevention policies might have been effective in reducing HTLV-1 seroprevalence in our population. However, environmental factors such as parasite burden decrease could also account for HAM/TSP incidence dramatic fall.

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Correspondence to Stephane Olindo.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Olindo, S., Jeannin, S., Saint-Vil, M. et al. Temporal Trends in HAM/TSP incidence in Martinique over 25 years (1986-2010): dramatic decrease since 2000. Retrovirology 12 (Suppl 1), O6 (2015).

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