Author(s): Hino S
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Abstract In late 2010, the nation-wide screening of pregnant women for human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection was implemented in Japan to prevent milk-borne transmission of HTLV-1. In the late 1970s, recognition of the adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) cluster in Kyushu, Japan, led to the discovery of the first human retrovirus, HTLV-1. In 1980, we started to investigate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) for explaining the peculiar endemicity of HTLV-1. Retrospective and prospective epidemiological data revealed the MTCT rate at ∼20\%. Cell-mediated transmission of HTLV-1 without prenatal infection suggested a possibility of milk-borne transmission. Common marmosets were successfully infected by oral inoculation of HTLV-1 harboring cells. A prefecture-wide intervention study to refrain from breast-feeding by carrier mothers, the ATL Prevention Program Nagasaki, was commenced in July 1987. It revealed a marked reduction of HTLV-1 MTCT by complete bottle-feeding from 20.3\% to 2.5\%, and a significantly higher risk of short-term breast-feeding (<6 months) than bottle-feeding (7.4\% vs. 2.5\%, P < 0.001).
This article was published in Proc Jpn Acad Ser B Phys Biol Sci
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy