Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The correlation between virus load and specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) frequency during the chronic phase in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection has been found to be negative in cross-sectional studies. We report here that, in infection with the related retrovirus human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), the correlation is positive in asymptomatic carriers and zero in patients with the associated inflammatory disease HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). We demonstrate that the direction of the correlation may depend on the efficacy of the CTL response using mathematical models. We conclude that the CTL response is effective in asymptomatic carriers of HTLV-1, but ineffective in patients with HAM/TSP. Virus-mediated impairment of specific CTL production in HIV-1 infection can account for the negative correlation observed.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Biol Sci

Publication Date





1215 - 1221


Carrier State, HIV Infections, HIV-1, HTLV-I Infections, Human T-lymphotropic virus 1, Humans, Mathematics, Models, Biological, Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic