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Immunoglobulin m and immunoglobulin g antibodies to human t cell lymphotropic retrovirus htlv iii in lymphadenopathy syndrome and subjects at risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in italy


, : Immunoglobulin m and immunoglobulin g antibodies to human t cell lymphotropic retrovirus htlv iii in lymphadenopathy syndrome and subjects at risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in italy. British Medical Journal 291(6489): 165-166

The prevalence of specific antibodies to human T cell lymphotrophic retrovirus (HTLV-III) in patients with lymphadenopathy syndrome, patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and those at risk of AIDS was assessed. Serum samples were obtained from these groups and from healthy controls in selected cities in Italy and antibodies to HTLV-III were measured by immunofluoresence assay and, in a few patients, by Western blotting. IgM antibody values were measured in 82 of those positive for HTLV-III. Altogether, 235 out of 320 patients with lymphadenopathy syndrome had antibodies to HTLV-III, the proportions being highest in hemophiliacs, homosexuals and drug addicts from Rome; 11 out of 12 patients with AIDS had antibodies; 78 out of 439 subjects at risk for AIDS had antibodies; and 6 out 30 patients with lymphadenopathy syndrome and positive for HTLV-III antibodies and 9 of 52 patients at risk of AIDS had a detectable titer of IgM. HTLV-III is widespread in groups at risk of AIDS in Italy, and antibodies to HTLV-III are highly prevalent in patients with lymphadenopathy syndrome. A higher proportion of drug abusers were positive for antibodies than in previous studies. HTLV-III infection would appear to be spread mainly in compromised hosts, as none of the controls were positive for antibodies.

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