Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human T-leukemia virus (HTLV) are retroviruses that use similar routes of transmission. According to a study published in Frontiers in Medicine, the prevalence of HIV and HTLV varies by geographic regions in Brazil. The northeastern state of Bahia, for example, is considered endemic to both viruses. Felicidade Mota Pereira and colleagues examined HIV/HTLV coinfections throughout Bahia and found that most cases of HIV/HTLV-1 coinfection were localized in the Salvador municipality. The authors further observed that isolated cases of HIV/HTLV-1 coinfection were present across municipalities that were known to be endemic for HTLV infections.

The analysis was performed using samples from the Central Laboratory of Public Health (LACEN-BA) that had been submitted for chemiluminescence or ELISA screening for anti-HIV and anti-HTLV-1/2 and confirmed by Western Blot. Infection data was presented as the rate of infected individuals per 100,000 residents from each municipality.

A total of 129,158 samples from 358 of the 417 municipalities in Bahia were assessed. HTLV coinfection was observed in 2.4% of the samples that were HIV-positive, versus 0.5% of samples with negative HIV results (odds ratio [OR] = 4.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.39–6.37). Additionally, patients with HIV and HTLV coinfection had a median age of 47.2 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 41.6–55.4) and were more frequently women (69.0%). In the 14 municipalities where the investigators detected at least one coinfection, the overall rate of HTLV coinfection in HIV-positive samples was 0.25 (range: 0.17–13.84) per 100,000 inhabitants.

The authors’ data quantified that the Salvador municipality had the highest concentration of HIV and HTLV coinfections compared to the other municipalities studied, and their findings appeared to suggest that coinfection was potentially more likely in regions endemic for HTLV.

Source: Frontiers in Medicine