Lancet Reg Health Am. 2022 Jul 29;15:100339. doi: 10.1016/j.lana.2022.100339. eCollection 2022 Nov.
BACKGROUND: Brazil is a country endemic for human T-lymphotropic virus 1 and 2 (HTLV-1 and HTLV-2), systemic mycoses such as paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) and histoplasmosis (HP), and aspergillosis (AP). The prevalence of HTLV-1/-2 infections in individuals with endemic mycoses in Latin America is unknown; however, an association between HTLV-1 and severe PCM and HP has been observed in Peru. Addressing this knowledge gap, we searched for HTLV-1/-2 antibodies in serum samples sent to the Instituto Adolfo Lutz, São Paulo, Brazil, for systemic mycosis diagnosis.
METHODS: We used 387 sera from a biorepository that had seropositive results for Paracoccidioides spp. (G1, n=212), Histoplasma capsulatum (G2, n=95), Aspergillus spp. (G3, n=61), and at least two of these fungi (G4, n=19). We searched for the presence of HTLV-1/-2 antibodies using commercial immunoassays: enzyme immunoassay (HTLV-I+II Murex, Diasorin), western blotting (HTLV Blot 2.4, MP Biomedicals), and line immunoassay (INNO-LIA HTLV I/II, Fujirebio). Demographic characteristics were evaluated in each group.
FINDINGS: Different regions in São Paulo were sampled. Most samples were from males (76.2%; p=0.001), except for G3, in which no sex bias was detected. Mean age differences were observed between groups: patients with PCM and HP had a similar mean age (42.8 and 42.0 years, respectively), while those with AP and co-fungal infection were older (55.1 and 52.8 years, respectively, (p<0.001). Noteworthy, males were older than females in G1 (p=0.005). Screening detected HTLV-1/2 antibodies in five samples (1.30%; 95% CI: 0.8-1.8%), with two borderline results. HTLV-1/2 was confirmed in two samples: 2/387 (0.52%; 0.063-1.85%): one HTLV-2, male, 42 years, from G1: 1/212 (0.47%; 0.012-2.60%), and one HTLV-1, male, 51 years, from G3: 1/61 (1.64%; 0.042-8.80%).
INTERPRETATION: In the state of São Paulo, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 seem to circulate in male patients with systemic mycoses, and since HTLV-1 could impact fungal disease severity, the identification of co-infection is important regardless of prevalence.
FUNDING: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), and Instituto Adolfo Lutz.