Table of Contents
Leukemia Research and Treatment
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1675326, 6 pages
Research Article

Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Types 1 and 2 Seropositivity among Blood Donors at Mbarara Regional Blood Bank, South Western Uganda

1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University Science & Technology, P.O. Box 1410, Mbarara, Uganda
2Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science & Technology, P.O. Box 1410, Mbarara, Uganda

Received 14 October 2015; Revised 5 January 2016; Accepted 13 January 2016

Academic Editor: Daniela Cilloni

Copyright © 2016 Patience Uchenna Tweteise et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The human T-cell lymphotropic virus types 1 and 2 (HTLV 1/2) are retroviruses associated with different pathologies. HTLV-1 causes adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP); HTLV-2 is not clearly associated with a known clinical disease. Both viruses may be transmitted by whole blood transfusion, from mother to child predominantly through breastfeeding, and by sexual contact. Presently, none of the regional blood banks in Uganda perform routine pretransfusion screening for HTLV. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of anti-human T-cell lymphotropic virus types 1/2 (HTLV-1/2) antibodies among blood donors at Mbarara Regional Blood Bank in South Western Uganda. A cross-sectional study was conducted between June 2014 and September 2014. Methodology. Consecutive blood samples of 368 blood donors were screened for anti-HTLV-1/2 antibodies using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Samples reactive on a first HTLV-1/2 ELISA were further retested in duplicate using the same ELISA. Of the three hundred and sixty-eight blood donors (229 (62.2%) males and 139 (37.8%) females), only two male donors aged 20 and 21 years were HTLV-1/2 seropositive, representing a prevalence of 0.54%. Conclusion. HTLV-1/2 prevalence is low among blood donors at Mbarara Regional Blood Bank. Studies among other categories of people at risk for HTLV 1/2 infection should be carried out.