Abstract: The human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) subtype c is endemic to central Australia. We report the first large-scale, community-based, health survey of HTLV-1 and its disease associations in this setting.Aboriginal community residents aged >2 years in seven remote communities were invited to do a health survey that included a questionnaire, spirometry and clinical examination by a physician blinded to HTLV-1 status, clinical records and spirometry results. Blood was drawn for HTLV-1 serology and proviral load (PVL). Pulmonary disease was assessed clinically and spirometrically and, where records were available, radiologically after the clinical assessment. Associations between specific diseases and HTLV-1 status were determined using logistic regression, adjusting for available confounders.Overall, 579 residents (children aged 3-17, 164; adults, 415) were examined (37.7% of the estimated resident population). HTLV-1 prevalences for children and adults were 6.1% and 39.3%, respectively. No associations were found between HTLV-1 and any assessed clinical condition among children. Chronic pulmonary disease and gait abnormalities were more common among adults with HTLV-1 infection. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR)(95% CI) among participants with PVL ≥ 1000 per 10 5 PBL were 7.08 (2.67, 18.74; p<0.001), 9.81 (3.52, 27.35; p<0.001) and 14.4 (4.99, 41.69; p<0.001) for clinically defined chronic pulmonary disease, moderate-severe expiratory airflow limitation and radiologically determined bronchiectasis/bronchiolitis, respectively, and 5.21 (1.50, 18.07; p=0.009) for gait abnormalities.In the first study of HTLV-1 disease associations based on community recruitment and blinded assessment, HTLV-1 infection was strongly associated with pulmonary disease and gait abnormalities.
Einsiedel, Lloyd, Pham, Hai, Talukder, Mohammad Radwanur R., Liddle, Joel, Taylor, Kerry, Wilson, Kim, Jersmann, Hubertus, Gessain, Antoine, Woodman, Richard, Kaldor, John, 2020, Pulmonary disease is associated with human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1c infection: a cross-sectional survey in remote Aboriginal Australian communities, Journal Article, viewed 11 December 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=20676.