Mechanics of Human-T-lymphotropic-Virus-Driven Adult T-Leukemia
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HTLV - 1 (Human T-lymphotropic Virus -1) is a retrovirus that can cause a non-Hodgkin’s ATL (Adult T - Leukemia/ Lymphoma). This virus can develop into ATL after a latency period of 30+ years after initial infection and integration of the viral genome into the host genome. This disease can be hard to treat in it’s “Acute” or “Lymphomatous” forms. This virus can be spread through bodily fluids such as semen or breast milk from an infected person. Although less than 5% of people who have HTLV-1 develop ATL, most patients with ATL pass away. ATL is currently known to have 4 subtypes: Smoldering, Chronic, Acute, and Lymphomatous. They vary by their location and progression within the body. Currently there is no vaccine against the virus, and ATL has no set treatment. The virus driven ATL is known to have low genetic diversity across the endemic regions of southern Japan, South America, The Caribbean, and tropical Africa. This is interesting since ATL has been previously thought to been driven by viral proteins rather than host genetics. This evidence has shown that this virus can develop based on the host’s genes. Furthermore the studies of the blood samples from the patients infected with HTLV - 1 also show that the patients have low genetic diversity. This suggests host driven genetic factors that drive the development of ATL. In addition, the integration sites of the viral genome are near host cancer genetic markers. In this review, we present the evidence gathered to date that demonstrates the correlation between patient genetics and HTLV - 1 driven ATL.