Human T-cell leukemia virus type 2

What causes human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2?

Human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2 (HTLV-2) occurs when a person is infected by the human T-cell leukemia retrovirus. HTLV-2 is spread by blood transfusions, sexual contact and sharing needles. It can also be spread from mother to child during birth or breast-feeding. It is unclear why some people with HTLV-2 may develop neurological problems and other medical conditions, while others remain asymptomatic (show no signs or symptoms) their entire lives.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2 diagnosed?

Human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2 (HTLV-2) is usually diagnosed based on blood tests that detect antibodies to the virus. However, HTLV-2 is often never suspected or diagnosed since most people never develop any signs or symptoms of the infection. Diagnosis may occur during screening for blood donation, testing performed due to a family history of the infection, or a work-up for an HTLV-2-associated medical problems.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2?

The long-term outlook (prognosis) for most people infected with human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2 (HTLV-2) is good. Infection with HTLV-2 is lifelong, but 95% of affected people have no signs or symptoms of the condition. Although HTLV-2 has not been definitively linked with any specific health problems, scientists suspect that some affected people may later develop neurological problems and/or chronic lung infections. However, HTLV-2-related health problems tend to be significantly milder than those associated with human T-cell leukemia virus, type 1.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2 be treated?

No cure or treatment exists for human T-cell leukemia virus, type 2 (HTLV-2). Management is focused on early detection and preventing the spread of HTLV-2 to others. Screening blood doners, promoting safe sex and discouraging needle sharing can decrease the number of new infections. Mother-to-child transmission can be reduced by screening pregnant women so infected mothers can avoid breastfeeding.

Last updated on 05-01-20


Connect with other users with Human T-cell leukemia virus type 2 on the RareGuru app

Do you have information about a disease, disorder, or syndrome? Want to suggest a symptom?
Please send suggestions to RareGuru!

The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

People Using the App

Join the RareGuru Community

To connect, share, empower and heal today.

People Using the App