Diagnosis and differentiation of htlv-i and htlv-ii infection by enzyme immunoassays using synthetic peptides

Raphael P. Viscidi, Peter M. Hill, Shuojia Li, Erich H. Cerny, David Vlahov, Homayoon Farzadegan, Neal Halsey, Gabor D. Kelen, Thomas C. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Summary: Synthetic peptides from the major envelope protein of HTLV-I (ENV-I, amino acid 177–213) and HTLV-II (ENV-II, amino acid 173–209) and a conserved region of the transmembrane protein (TM, amino acid 378–402) were used as antigens in microtiter plate enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect and discriminate antibodies to HTLV-I and II. The ENV-I and ENV-II peptide EIAs were able to correctly discriminate HTLV-I and II infections in 17 of 18 subjects whose infections were determined by a gene amplification method. Sera from 100 of 107 subjects with serologically confirmed infection with HTLV-I/II and 0 of 218 seronegative controls reacted with one or more of the peptides (sensitivity, 93.5%; specificity, 100%). Ninety-six of the 100 peptide positive sera reacted exclusively with either the ENV-I or the ENV-II peptide, thereby differentiating the two viral infections. The pattern of reactivity to the ENV peptides was distinct in different populations. Patients attending an Emergency Department, who had a history of drug abuse, and male inmate entering a correctional facility only had antibody reactivity to the ENV-II peptide. Subjects from Haiti and patients with HTLV-associated neurological disease only had antibody reactivity to the ENV-I peptide. Peptide-based enzyme immunoassays that distinguish antibodies to HTLV-I and HTLV-II will facilitate studies of the epidemiology of HTLV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1190-1197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • Envelope proteins
  • Enzyme immunoassay
  • HTLV-I
  • Synthetic peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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