OBJECTIVE: To determine the aetiological relationship between human T cell leukaemia virus type-I (HTLV-I) and arthritis, by performing an epidemiological study of the inhabitants of Tsushima, an island northwest of the main island of Kyushu, Japan, which is an endemic area of HTLV-I. METHODS: A total of 7087 people underwent an annual health check, and those with arthropathy had further physical and radiological examinations by rheumatologists. The presence of HTLV-I antibody was determined by the particle agglutinin method, and integration of the proviral DNA in peripheral lymphocytes was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: HTLV-I was positive in 26.1% of inhabitants; the incidence increased to 37.0% in patients with symptoms of polyarthritis. The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was significantly different between HTLV-I carriers (0.56%) and non-carriers (0.31%). The stage of bone destruction in HTLV-I carriers with articular symptoms was milder than that in RA patients without HTLV-I. The relative risk of HTLV-I infection for polyarthritis was 1.66 (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: This is the first epidemiological report clarifying the association between HTLV-I and polyarthritis. Our results suggest that this viral infection has a relationship to RA.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.