Maayan S (Department of Clinical Microbiology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel), Dan M, Marlink R and Chen Y M. HTLV among Israeli intravenous drug abusers. International Journal of Epidemiology 1992; 21: 995-997 Since human T lymphotropic virus (HTLV) infection was recently described in Israel and other Middle Eastern countries, we have investigated the presence of HTLV type 1 and type 2 in a group of 299 intravenous (IV) drug abusers who were seen at a large methadone clinic in the Tel Aviv area in 1986-1987. We found that 1.3% were seropositive to HTLV. Further testing revealed that HTLV1 was the only HTLV serotype. In addition, no coinfection HIV1/HTLV1 and no HIV2 infection were detected. Since all HTLV séropositives were bom in Middle Eastern countries, did not travel outside Israel and were not infected by HIV1 or by HTLV type 2, it is possible that the source of HTLV1 infection in that group was in an endemic reservoir of HTLV1 in Israel. The detection of HTLV1 among IV drug abusers and among other groups in Israel necessitates more extensive HTLV testing in at-risk populations.
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