Human T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma Viruses: Clinical and Epidemiologic Features

  • William A. Blattner
  • Robert C. Gallo
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 115)


The discovery of the human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus (HTLV) family of retroviruses represents the culmination of a search that dates back more than 50 years, stimulated chiefly by the fact that leukemias and lymphomas in animals are often caused by retroviruses (Poiesz etal. 1980; Gallo and Wong-Stall 1982). Since the first virus isolation of HTLV in 1979, more than 100 isolates of human retroviruses, representing three distinet classes, have been reported from many laboratories in the world (Popovic etal. 1983b; Haynes etal. 1983; Miyoshi etal. 1981; Kalyanaraman etal. 1982b; Gallo etal. 1984). All of these isolates have an affinity to infect mature T cells and are, therefore, said to be T-lymphotrophic. The three classes of HTLV are termed HTLV-I, HTLV-II and HTLV-III. HTLV-I has been most thoroughly charac- terized from a molecular and clinical perspective and has been found to be associated with certain forms of mature T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, the description of which will be a major focus of this review (Blatnner et al. 1982; Gallo et al. 1983a; Blayney et al. 1983c). HTLV-II has more recently been isolated, and its relationship to human disease is unclear, although isolates have been obtained from a single patient with T hairy cell leukemia and from some patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (Kalyanaraman et al. 1982b; Hahn et al., in press). In the latter case, it is likely that these isolations represented passenger viral infections, given the recent discovery of HTLV-III as the etiological agent for the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (Gallo et al. 1984). The molecular features of this class of viruses are reviewed elsewhere in this volume.


Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Bovine Leukemia Virus Hairy Cell Leukemia Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Patient Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Case 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Blattner
    • 1
  • Robert C. Gallo
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Epidemiology BranchNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Tumor Cell BiologyNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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