Evaluation of an immunoblot assay for serological confirmation and differentiation of human T-cell lymphotropic virus types I and II.J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Feb; 31(2):260-4.JC
The confirmation of infection with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) and type II (HTLV-II) currently involves multiple assays. These include Western blot (immunoblot) (WB) and/or radioimmunoprecipitation assay for detection of antibodies to HTLV-specific viral proteins and polymerase chain reaction and/or peptide-based enzyme immunoassays for differentiating between the two viruses. We undertook an evaluation of a modified WB assay that includes native HTLV-I viral proteins from MT-2 cells spiked with an HTLV-I transmembrane glycoprotein (recombinant p21e) and the HTLV-I- and HTLV-II-specific recombinant proteins MTA-1 and K55. The test panel consisted of well-characterized sera from U.S. blood donors, American Indians, intravenous drug users, and patients seen in sexually transmitted disease clinics. Of 158 HTLV-I/II-seropositive serum specimens tested, 156 (98.7%) were confirmed and typed as HTLV-I or HTLV-II. Of 82 HTLV-I/II-seroindeterminate or -seronegative serum specimens, only 1 was classified as HTLV-II positive: the sample had weak gag p19 and strong gag p24 and env p21e reactivity and was radioimmunoprecipitation assay negative for env gp61/68 but polymerase chain reaction positive for HTLV-II. The specificity of the modified WB for confirming and typing serum samples was therefore 100%. We conclude that this WB assay is useful for confirming and typing HTLV infection and can help simplify HTLV-I/II testing algorithms.