Prevalence of human T-lymphotropic virus in civilian applicants for the United States Armed Forces

C. R. Roberts, D. R. Fipps, J. F. Brundage, S. E. Wright, M. Goldenbaum, S. S. Alexander, D. S. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background. The wide range in human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) seroprevalences reported worldwide has made estimates of seroprevalence difficult in unique populations. In this study, the seropositivity of young adult civilian applicants for the US Armed Forces was determined. Methods. Serum samples from nine geographic regions were screened by an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), and repeatedly reactive samples were further tested by Western blot and radioimmunoprecipitation. Specimens were scored as positive when antibody to gag (p24) and env (gp46 or gp68) were detected. Results. Of the 43,750 samples analyzed, 18 were positive for HTLV antibodies. Ten (55%) were from males and eight (45%) were from females. Nine (90%) of the males and seven (87.5%) of the females were Black. Twelve of the positive samples (66.6%) were from the New York City region, which represented only 18.8% of the sample population. Conclusions. The overall HTLV seroprevalence of civilian applicants for the US Armed forces was 0.41 per 1000. This was higher than the seroprevalence reported for volunteer blood donors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-73
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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