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Lack of evidence to support the association of a single IL28B genotype SNP rs12979860 with the HTLV-1 clinical outcomes and proviral load

Sabri Saeed Sanabani12*, Youko Nukui3, Juliana Pereira3, Antonio Charlys da Costa1, Ana Carolina Soares de Oliveira1, Rodrigo Pessôa1, Fabio Eudes Leal4, Aluisio C Segurado5, Esper Georges Kallas4 and Ester Cerdeira Sabino5

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Laboratory, Department of Pathology, LIM 03, Hospital das Clínicas (HC), School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

2 São Paulo Inistitute of Tropical Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil

3 Department of Hematology, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

4 Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil

5 Deparment of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:374  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-374

Published: 23 December 2012



The Interleukin 28B (IL28B) rs12979860 polymorphisms was recently reported to be associated with the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) proviral load (PvL) and the development of the HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP).


In an attempt to examine this hypothesis, we assessed the association of the rs12979860 genotypes with HTLV-1 PvL levels and clinical status in 112 unrelated Brazilian subjects (81 HTLV-1 asymptomatic carriers, 24 individuals with HAM/TSP and 7 with Adult T cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATLL)).


All 112 samples were successfully genotyped and their PvLs compared. Neither the homozygote TT nor the heterozygote CT mutations nor the combination genotypes (TT/CT) were associated with a greater PvL. We also observed no significant difference in allele distribution between asymptomatic carriers and patients with HTLV-1 associated HAM/TSP.


Our study failed to support the previously reported positive association between the IL28B rs12979860 polymorphisms and an increased risk of developing HAM/TSP in the Brazilian population.

HTLV-1; ILB 28 polymorphisms; HAM/TSP; Proviral load