1887

Abstract

Human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a human retrovirus that is a causative agent of adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATL) and is mainly transmitted from an infected mother to her child via breastfeeding. Such an HTLV-1 infection during childhood is believed to be a risk factor for ATL development. Although it has been suggested that an increased proviral load (PVL), a higher titre of antibody (Ab) in the infected mother and prolonged breastfeeding are associated with an increased risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), the mechanisms underlying MTCT of HTLV-1 remain largely unknown. In this study, we developed an MTCT model using orally HTLV-1-infected rats that have no Ab responses against viral antigens, such as Gag and Env. In this model, HTLV-1 could be transmitted from the infected mother rats to their offspring at a high rate (50–100 %), and the rate of MTCT tended to be correlated with the PVL of the infected mother rats. Furthermore, passive immunization of uninfected adult rats and an infected mother rat with a rat anti-HTLV-1 Env gp46-neutralizing mAb was unable to suppress primary oral HTLV-1 infection to the adult rats and vertical HTLV-1 transmission to the offspring, respectively. Our findings indicate that this MTCT model would be useful to investigate not only the mechanisms of MTCT but also the role of anti-HTLV-1 Ab in MTCT of HTLV-1. They also provide some information on the role of maternal Abs in MTCT, which should be considered when designing a strategy for prevention of MTCT of HTLV-1.

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2017-05-05
2019-10-23
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