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This article is part of the supplement: 15th International Conference on Human Retroviruses: HTLV and Related Viruses

Open Access Open Badges Meeting abstract

Evidence of a higher prevalence of HPV infection in HTLV-1-infected women compared to uninfected women

Sônia Lopo1, Paula Matos1, Iuri Useda1, Geisa Barbosa Pena1, Maria Betânia Torrales1, Viviana Olavarria1, Rita E Mascarenhas1, Bernardo Galvão-Castro12 and Maria F Rios Grassi12*

Author Affiliations

1 Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health (EBMSP) Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

2 Advanced Laboratory of Public Health, Gonçalo Moniz Center, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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Retrovirology 2011, 8(Suppl 1):A85  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-8-S1-A85

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:6 June 2011

© 2011 Lopo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


HTLV-1 increases susceptibility to infections. Few studies have addressed the co-infection between HPV/HTLV-1 and the immune response involved in this interaction.


To determine prevalence of cervical HPV infection and to evaluate HTLV-proviral load and CD4 T lymphocyte proportion in co-infected patients.


A cross-sectional study was carried out in Salvador-Brazil, between September 2005 to December 2008, involving 50 HTLV-1-infected women from the HTLV Reference Center and 40 uninfected patients from gynecological clinic, both at the Bahiana School of Medicine. HPV infection was assessed by hybrid capture. HTLV-1 proviral load was quantified by real time PCR and CD4+ T-lymphocyte count using flow cytometry.


Mean age of HTLV-1-infected women (38±10 yrs) was similar to that of the control group (36±13 yrs). The prevalence of HPV infection was 44% in the HTLV-1-infected group and 22.5% in uninfected women (p=0.03). HTLV-1-infected women had lower mean age at onset of sexual life (17±3 yrs vs. 19±3 yrs; p=0.03) and greater number of lifetime partners compared to the control group (4±3 vs. 2±1; p<0.01). In the group of HTLV-1-infected patients, there was neither difference in HTLV-1 proviral load between HPV-infected women (16,000 copies/106 PBMC) and uninfected patients (6,114 copies/106 PBMC, p=0,4) nor in the proportion of CD4+ T-lymphocytes (43.8±10.6% vs. 48.9±8.6%, p=0.1).


The prevalence of HPV infection is higher in HTLV-1-infected women. No association was found between HPV infection, CD4+ T lymphocyte proportion or HTLV-1-proviral load in HTLV-1-infectred patients. Further studies should be performed to evaluate the progression of this co-infection.