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The impact of HTLV-1 infection on clinical and immunological outcomes in patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus


HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), and human T-cell lymphotropic virus I (HTLV-1) are associated with high global burdens of disease, notably in resource-poor locales. They share similar routes of transmission and cause chronic infections with associated morbidity. We performed a cross-sectional study to assess the impact of HTLV-1 infection on clinical outcomes in HIV/HCV co-infected patients.


We enrolled 102 (72.3%) with HIV/HCV co-infection (Group 1) and 39 (27.7%) triply infected with HIV, HCV, and HTLV-1 (Group 2). We reviewed medical records of two groups of patients followed in two outpatients services in Salvador, Brazil. We collected and compared demographic, behavioral-related information, immunological, virological and histological parameters for HIV-1 and HCV infection.


Demographics, virological and immunological characteristics were similar in the two groups; a higher proportion of triply infected patients (Group 2) reported any history of injection drug use (IDU) compared to dually infected (Group 1) patients (75% vs. 45.8%; p =0.003). No differences were seen between groups in HIV clinical outcomes (CD4 count and viral load). Alanine aminotransferase levels were significantly higher in HIV/HCV co-infected patients (p =0.045). Liver fibrosis damage based on Metavir scores were similar between groups (0.97) but were worse with lower CD4 cell count (under 200cells/mm3) (p = 0.01).


HIV/HTLV-1 and HIV/HCV coinfections may worsen clinical related outcomes, but virological and immunological outcomes were similar in both groups. Hepatic measures were worse in patients with more severe immunosuppression.

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Correspondence to Fabianna Bahia.

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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.

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Bahia, F., Le Marchand, C., Evans, J. et al. The impact of HTLV-1 infection on clinical and immunological outcomes in patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus. Retrovirology 8 (Suppl 1), A54 (2011).

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