The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was employed in searching for human T cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) and sequences in samples of DNA prepared from two HTLV-I seropositive patients with tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP), the Swedish multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who recently have been reported to be PCR-positive for HTLV-I and sequences, and eight healthy individuals. Precautions were taken in order to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in the PCR. In the two TSP patients strong signals were obtained with and amplification primers and detection probes. In MS patients and healthy individuals, no signals were obtained with and . In occasional experiments, weak signals were seen for the segment for a single MS patient and/or healthy individuals, but these signals were not reproducible in subsequent experiments. Thus, the present data do not confirm the presence of HTLV-I sequences in MS patients.


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