ABSTRACT: Human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). We used interferon- gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assays with overlapping peptides spanning the entire HTLV-1 proteome to test whether the HTLV-1-specific CD8(+) T cells differed significantly in frequency or immunodominance hierarchy between patients with HAM/TSP and asymptomatic carriers and whether the frequency correlated with provirus load. Tax was the immunodominant target antigen. There was no significant qualitative or quantitative difference in the HTLV-1-specific CD8(+) T cell response between the 2 groups. Virus-specific CD8(+) T cell frequency alone does not indicate the effectiveness of the cytotoxic T lymphocyte response in controlling provirus load at equilibrium.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2004; 189(12):2294-8. · 6.41 Impact Factor