Because 5 adult patients from Puerto Tejada (a small town near Cali), have been confirmed of having tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP) associated with the human lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) a seroprevalence study in this 50,000 inhabitants blacktown was performed. From 200 sera investigated 6 (3%) had antibodies against HTLV-I. Epidemiological data suggest environmental cofactors in the etiology of TSP in Colombia and in a similar syndrome named HAM (HTLV-I associated myelopathy) in south Japan. We postulate that both, TSP and HAM are due to the coinfection of HTLV-I with another virus(es) so far unknown. The cofactor could have attacked the HTLV-I endemic regions after severe environmental changes. The possible cofactor(s) probably were transmitted by animal reservoirs or by insects acting as vectors. The viral traffic enhanced by human migrations easily explains the fact that TSP, originally found in the south Pacific coast of Colombia is expanding to other regions of south west Colombia. The use of epidemiological strategies for the control of infectious diseases is recommended.
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - 1997|
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