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Heterosexual Transmission of Human T Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma Virus Type I among Married Couples in Southwestern Japan: An Initial Report from the Miyazaki Cohort Study

Sherri O. Stuver, Nobuyoshi Tachibana, Akihiko Okayama, Shigemasa Shioiri, Yoshizo Tsunetoshi, Kazunori Tsuda and Nancy E. Mueller
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 167, No. 1 (Jan., 1993), pp. 57-65
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30112572
Page Count: 9
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Heterosexual Transmission of Human T Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma Virus Type I among Married Couples in Southwestern Japan: An Initial Report from the Miyazaki Cohort Study
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Abstract

To identify factors that may modify the heterosexual transmission of human T cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type I (HTLV-I), 534 married couples enrolled in the Miyazaki Cohort Study between November 1984 and April 1989 were studied: 95 husband HTLV-I-seropositive (H⁺)/wife seropositive (W⁺), 33 H⁺/W⁻, 64 H⁻/W⁺, and 342 H⁻/W⁻. After 5 years of follow-up, seven seroconversions occurred and clustered significantly among serodiscordant pairs (relative risk [RR] = 41.2); the rate of transmission was 3.9 times higher if the carrier spouse was male (P = .19). Among H⁺/W⁻ couples, husband's age ⩾60 years strongly predicted seroconversion in the wives (RR =11.5). All 4 carrier husbands whose wives seroconverted had HTLV-I titers ⩾ 1:1024 (P = .04) and were anti-tax antibody positive (P = .06). In cross-sectional analysis, total parity also was independently associated with wife's serostatus but only length of marriage with husband's. Overall, sexual transmission of HTLV-I was primarily from older infected husbands to their wives, with husbands' viral status being an important factor.

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