Sequence variants of human T cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I), genetically distinct from cosmopolitan strains of HTLV-I from Japan, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Africa, have been discovered among Melanesians in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and among Australian aboriginals. By using oligonucleotide primer pairs derived from sequences unique to the gp46- and gp21-encoding regions of the env gene of the Melanesian HTLV-I variants, HTLV-I strains from widely separated geographic regions could be grouped into either of two major geographic-specific genotypes or topotypes: Australo-Melanesian and cosmopolitan. These primers did not permit amplification of the corresponding env gene regions in strains of simian T cell lymphotropic virus type I from Asia and Africa. Phylogenetic analysis also supported two distinct lineages, consistent with evolution of HTLV-I in Australia and Melanesia independent from that in other parts of the world.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Immunology and Allergy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health