Is there any association between human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection and Behcet's disease?

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Blood Borne Infections Research Center, Academic Center for Education, Culture & Research (ACECR), Razavi Khorasan Branch, Mashhad, Iran

3 Rheumatic Diseases Research Center (RDRC), School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Immunology Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Health Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

6 Health Sciences Research Center, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Abstract
Background: Both human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection and Behcet's disease (BD) are common in similar geographic area. Furthermore, some clinical presentations of BD and HTLV-1 infection such as ocular lesions or neurologic involvement are the same. The aim of the study is assessing the possible association between BD and HTLV-1 infection.
Method: In this case-control study, HTLV-1 infection frequency was investigated in BD patients compared to the general population. The case group consisted of 68 patients with a definite diagnosis of BD in a research center at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. The control group consisted of 210 healthy individuals selected from the general population of Mashhad city. Presence of HTLV antibodies in sera was assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the seroreactive samples were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction technique.
Results: HTLV-1 infection was detected in 4.41% (3/68) and 1.43% (3/210) of cases and controls, respectively, however, the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.16). HTLV-1 infection prevalence in BD patients was threefold higher than general population but this difference was not significant.
Conclusion: The prevalence of HTLV1 infection in patients with BD disease was higher than the control group, however the difference was not statistically significant, which might imply an association between these two conditions.

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