Objectives The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of human T cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-1/2, HIV-1, hepatitis B virus (HBV), Trypanosoma cruzi, Treponema pallidum and Toxoplasma gondii infections and to identify the subtypes/subgroups of HTLV-1/2 among pregnant women (PW) from non-endemic provinces of Argentina.
Methods Methods A total of 2403 samples were screened for HTLV-1/2 and confirmed by western blot and PCR. The long terminal repeat (LTR) of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 were amplified. Phylogenetic analysis was performed by Neighbour Joining by using molecular evolutionary genetics analysis (MEGA) 4.0.
Results Among a total of 2403 PW studied, 6 (0.25%) tested positive for HTLV-1/2 (3 HTLV-1 (0.12%) and 3 HTLV-2 (0.12%)). The total prevalence when distributed by province was 0.3% (3/804) for Buenos Aires (BA), 0.4% (1/241) for BA surroundings, 0.1% (1/707) for Neuquen and 1.0% (1/95) for Ushuaia. In San Juan, no PW were HTLV-1/2 positive. The prevalence was similar when compared with rates among blood donors of the same areas and years. The phylogenetic analysis classified one sequence as HTLV-1 aA and one as HTLV-2b. The prevalence of HIV-1, HBV, T cruzi, T pallidum and T gondii was 0.6%, 0.2%, 1.4%, 1.2% and 20.9%, respectively. One case of HTLV-1/HIV-1 and one of HTLV-2/HIV-1 co-infection were detected.
Conclusions HTLV-1/2, which have been associated with different diseases, are circulating among PW of Argentina, even in non-endemic areas. Therefore, testing should be recommended in women who have risk factors for these infections given that the majority of HTLV-1/2 mother to child transmission can be prevented by the avoidance of breast feeding.
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