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Disease Name: Human T-Lymphotropic Virus

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Please review the Idaho Reportable Disease Rules (IDAPA 16.02.10) for the most up-to-date information.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. (2016). Investigative Guidelines. Boise, ID:  Division of Public Health.

Overview / Case Definition

HTLV-I was the first human retrovirus discovered. The virus is endemic primarily in southwestern Japan and the Caribbean but also is endemic in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South America. HTLV-I is transmitted by blood transfusion and contaminated needles, by sexual contact, and from mother to child through breastfeeding. The virus is associated with two diseases: a hematologic malignancy known as adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and a degenerative neurologic disease named HTLV-I-associated myelopathy or tropical spastic paraparesis. The latter disease has been associated with blood transfusion.

Human T-lymphotropic virus type II (HTLV-II), the second human retrovirus discovered, is closely related to HTLV-I and is presumably transmitted via the same mechanisms. Recent reports suggest that HTLV-II is present in intravenous-drug users. HTLV-II has not been consistently associated with any diseases.




Within 3 working days

Reportable by Healthcare and Labs:

Reportable by Food Service Facility:

Suspect Reportable:

Reporting Timeframe: Within 3 working days

Diagnosis / Testing

HTVL-1 antibody detection by enzyme immunoassay or Western Blot. Since HTVL-1 and HTVL-2 antibodies cross-react, any positive result should be confirmed by a second assay that can distinguish HTVL-1 and HTVL-2.


Additional Information

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. (2016). Investigative Guidelines. Boise, ID:  Division of Public Health.

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