Seroprevalence study of HTLV-1 and 2 in prospective blood donors and pregnant women in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Background: Infection with Human T-cell Lymphotropic virus type 1 and 2 (HTLV-1/2) is a global epidemic. Nigeria is in the endemic region of HTLV - 1/ 2 infections. The diseases caused by these viruses are incurable and life-threatening. There is no data yet on the seroprevalence of these viruses in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. We determined the seroprevalence of HTLV-1/2 by identifying antibodies to the virus in Nigerians resident in Port Harcourt.
Methods and Materials: This was a cross-sectional study we carried out on a total of 360 participants (139 potential blood donors and 221 pregnant women) at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). The participants were also given self –administered questionnaires. We screened for antibodies to HTLV-1 and 2 in the sera of the participants using Enzyme Linked Immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA). We also screened for antibodies to Human Immunodeficiency Virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1/2) using qualitative immunoassay
determine test strips.
Results: Two (1.4%) of blood donors were positive for HTLV, both were males and 1 (0.8) was within the 25-34 years age group while the other was in the 35-44years age group. There was an association between Sexually transmitted Diseases (STD) and previous blood transfusion with HTLV positivity. No pregnant women tested positive to HTLV. There were no cases of co-infection of HIV with HTLV.
Conclusion: The results suggest low prevalence of HTLV in blood donors and pregnant women in Port Harcourt.
Key words: HTLV-1/2, Seroprevalence, Blood donors, pregnant women, HIV, Co-infection, risk factors.