HTLV-1 Proviral Load Absolute RT-qPCR Development for Assessing on Clinical Outcomes in HAM/TSP Patients

by | Apr 15, 2024 | Publications

Rep Biochem Mol Biol. 2023 Oct;12(3):393-402. doi: 10.61186/rbmb.12.3.393.


BACKGROUND: The significance of HTLV-1 proviral load as a prognostic biomarker in HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) has been a subject of controversy. This study aims to assess the impact of HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) on the clinical outcome in patients with HAM/TSP.

METHODS: An absolute quantitative HTLV-1 PVL RT-qPCR, TaqMan method was developed with 100% sensitivity and specificity. Then, from 2005-2018, the HTLV-1 PVL of 90 eligible newly diagnosed HAM/TSP patients were assessed for demographic, clinical symptoms and their associations with HTLV-1-PVL.

RESULTS: The quality control of the designed RT-qPCR showed a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. Spasticity in lower limbs in 58.9% and urinary symptoms in 17.8% of HAM/TSPs were observed. Using this designed RT-qPCR, the HTLV-1-PVL strongly affected spasticity and sphincter disturbance (p=0.05). The multivariate logistic test showed that only the beginning of lower limb weakness along with tremor was associated with PVL (OR: 2.78. 95% CI (0.99-1.02) and p=0.05). Urinary incontinence was prevalent among these patients; however, no association was identified with the HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL).

CONCLUSIONS: The absolute RT-qPCR developed for measuring HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) demonstrated reliable results. Despite a high prevalence of urinary incontinence in these patients, no association was observed with the PVL. Consequently, it appears that HTLV-1 proviral load is specifically associated with developing spasticity in HAM/TSP.

PMID:38618262 | PMC:PMC11015923 | DOI:10.61186/rbmb.12.3.393

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