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Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 subtype C melanesian genetic variants of the Vanuatu Archipelago and Solomon Islands share a common ancestor.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Melanesia is endemic for human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) subtype C. In 2005, we identified 4 infected women from Ambae Island, Vanuatu. Subsequently, 4247 Ni-Vanuatu originating from 18 islands were enrolled to define HTLV-1 epidemiological determinants and to characterize the viral strains molecularly. METHODS: Plasma from 1074 males and 3173 females were screened for HTLV-1/2 antibodies by particle agglutination (PA) and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Positive and/or borderline samples were then tested by a Western blot (WB) confirmatory assay. DNAs were amplified to obtain a 522-bp env gene fragment. Phylogenetic and molecular-clock analyses were performed. RESULTS: Of 4247 samples, 762 were positive and/or borderline by IFA/PA, and 26 of them were confirmed to be HTLV-1 positive by WB. The overall HTLV-1 seroprevalence was 0.62%. Viral transmission was found within families of infected index case patients. A geographic heterogeneity of HTLV-1 seroprevalence was observed among the islands. All 41 of the new env sequences belonged to HTLV-1 subtype C. Phylogenetic and molecular-clock analyses suggested that Ni-Vanuatu and Solomon Islander strains emerged from a common ancestor ~10,000 years ago. CONCLUSION: The Vanuatu archipelago is endemic for HTLV-1 with a diversity of subtype C variants. These strains were probably introduced into Vanuatu during ancient migration of the original settlers a few thousand years ago.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 3:01:48 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 12:07:17 PM

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Olivier Cassar, Corinne Capuano, Sylviane Bassot, Françoise Charavay, Renan Duprez, et al.. Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 subtype C melanesian genetic variants of the Vanuatu Archipelago and Solomon Islands share a common ancestor.. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2007, 196 (4), pp.510-21. ⟨10.1086/519167⟩. ⟨pasteur-00531356⟩

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