PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2023 Feb 21;17(2):e0011129. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0011129. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy-tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) with a poor prognosis. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and health impact of HTLV-1 antenatal screening.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A state-transition model was developed for HTLV-1 antenatal screening and no screening over a lifetime horizon from a healthcare payer perspective. A hypothetical cohort of 30-year-old individuals was targeted. The main outcomes were costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), life expectancy life-years (LYs), incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), HTLV-1 carriers, ATL cases, HAM/TSP cases, ATL-associated deaths, and HAM/TSP-associated deaths. The willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold was set at US$50,000 per QALY gained. In the base-case analysis, HTLV-1 antenatal screening (US$76.85, 24.94766 QALYs, 24.94813 LYs, ICER; US$40,100 per QALY gained) was cost-effective compared with no screening (US$2.18, 24.94580 QALYs, 24.94807 LYs). Cost-effectiveness was sensitive to the maternal HTLV-1 seropositivity rate, HTLV-1 transmission rate with long-term breastfeeding from HTLV-1 seropositive mothers to children, and the cost of the HTLV-1 antibody test. HTLV-1 antenatal screening was cost-effective when the maternal HTLV-1 seropositivity rate was greater than 0.0022 and the cost of the HTLV-1 antibody test was lower than US$94.8. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis using a second-order Monte-Carlo simulation showed that HTLV-1 antenatal screening was 81.1% cost-effective at a WTP threshold of US$50,000 per QALY gained. For 10,517,942 individuals born between 2011 and 2021, HTLV-1 antenatal screening costs US$785 million, increases19,586 QALYs and 631 LYs, and prevents 125,421 HTLV-1 carriers, 4,405 ATL cases, 3,035 ATL-associated deaths, 67 HAM/TSP cases, and 60 HAM/TSP-associated deaths, compared with no screening over a lifetime.
CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: HTLV-1 antenatal screening is cost-effective and has the potential to reduce ATL and HAM/TSP morbidity and mortality in Japan. The findings strongly support the recommendation for HTLV-1 antenatal screening as a national infection control policy in HTLV-1 high-prevalence countries.