Molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic analysis

by | May 4, 2022

Molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic analysis of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 in the tax gene and it association with adult t-cell leukemia/lymphoma disorders


Background and objectives: Human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) belongs to retrovirus family that causes the neurological disorder HTLV-1 adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). Since 1980, seven subtypes of the virus have been recognized. HTLV-1 is prevalent and endemic in some regions, such as Africa, Japan, South America and Iran as the endemic regions of the HTLV-1 in the Middle East. To study HTLV-1 subtypes and routes of virus spread in Iran, phylogenetic and phylodynamic analyses were performed and for as much as no previous phylogenetic studies were conducted in Tehran, we do this survey. To this purpose, the Tax region of HTLV-1 was used.

Materials and methods: In this study 100 samples were collected from blood donors in Tehran. All samples were screened for anti-HTLV-I antibodies by ELISA. Then, genomic DNA was extracted from all positive samples (10 people), and for confirmation of infection, ordinary PCR was performed for both the HBZ and LTR regions. Moreover, the Tax region was amplified and purified PCR products were sequenced and analyzed, and finally, a phylogenetic tree was constructed using Mega X software.

Results: Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that isolates from Iran, Japan, Brazil, and Africa are located within the extensive “transcontinental” subgroup A clade of HTLV-1 Cosmopolitan subtype a. The Japanese sequences are the closest to the Iranian sequences and have the most genetic similarity with them.

Conclusion: Through phylogenetic and phylodynamic analyses HTLV-1 strain in Tehran were characterized in Iran. The appearance of HTLV-1 in Iran was probably happened by the ancient Silk Road which linked China to Antioch.

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