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Human T lymphotrophic virus-I (HTLV-I), a pathogenic virus, is the aetiology of adult T cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATLL), and tropical spastic paresis (TSP).1,2 It is endemic in Japan, the Caribbean islands, and Africa. It has also been reported from some places in India, from select populations in Israel, and other countries in the West. This virus is mainly spread vertically through the sexual route, through blood transfusions and sharing of needles.1,2
HTLV-I has also been associated with clinical conditions like infective dermatitis.1,2 In countries with a high prevalence of HTLV-I in the general population, the prevalence of HTLV-I infection in these conditions is higher than in countries with a lower prevalence.
In India, HTLV-I infection has been reported in individuals with ATLL, TSP, and sexually transmitted infections (STI).3–5 This infection has also been proved by molecular techniques.6 Most of the cases of ATLL published from India are from the state of Kerala, south India.6 Despite this fact, there are no systematic studies among the other risk groups in Kerala. We have conducted a preliminary serostudy to confirm the presence of this virus in patients with dermatitis of unknown aetiology and among individuals with STI in central Kerala. Patients with unclassifiable dermatitis were selected in order to see if dermatitis could be aetiologically related to HTLV infection especially when HTLV induced …
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