Association between HTLV-1/2 infection and COVID-19 severity in a migrant Shipibo-Konibo population in Lima, Peru

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Publications

PLOS Glob Public Health. 2024 Jul 10;4(7):e0003442. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0003442. eCollection 2024.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The migrant community of the Shipibo-Konibo indigenous people in Lima, Peru were extremely vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, infection with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 and 2 (HTLV-1/2) is endemic in this population causing immunosuppression. The aim of the study was to describe the association between HTLV-1/2 infection and the clinical severity of COVID-19.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study involving a survey of adult Shipibo-Konibo indigenous migrants residing in Cantagallo-Rímac who were identified as suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Blood samples were collected for SARS-CoV-2 antibody and HTLV-1/2 ELISA testing. A confirmatory Western Blot test was performed for those with a positive ELISA test.

RESULTS: A total of 182 individuals were surveyed and sampled. No significant association was found between HTLV-1/2 infection and the clinical severity of COVID-19. The prevalence of HTLV-1/2 was 8.8% (95%CI: 5.0-14.1) with Western Blot. Age was the only statistically significant risk factor for developing a more severe form of COVID-19 (OR: 1.03; 95%CI: 1.00-1.06; p = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS: There was no association found between HTLV-1/2 infection and the clinical severity of COVID-19. The prevalence of HTLV-1/2 infection in the Shipibo-Konibo population is high and warrants continuous monitoring in the advent of other infectious disease outbreaks and the development of HTLV-associated comorbidities.

PMID:38985713 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pgph.0003442

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