Viruses (Mar 2022)

Updates on the Epidemiology of the Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 Infection in the Countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of the World Health Organization with Special Emphasis on the Situation in Iran

  • Mohammad Reza Hedayati-Moghaddam,
  • Reza Jafarzadeh Esfehani,
  • Hiba El Hajj,
  • Ali Bazarbachi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 664
p. 664


Read online

Background: The epidemiology and prevalence of the Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infection represent a recommended priority by global health agencies. An in-depth revision to update the status of this infection in countries including those of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization is hence required. Methods: Ninety-seven studies evaluating the HTLV-1 infection in low- and high-risk populations in EMRO countries were retrieved from the international electronic databases and were used to assess the epidemiological status of the infection in these countries. Results: Most epidemiologic reports were published from Iran, with more than 50% of Iranian prisoners and around 4% of healthy individuals reported to have the infection. In Egypt, a considerable prevalence of the virus spans around 1.11% of blood donors. Foci of HTLV-1 infection are also present in some countries and require a careful epidemiological evaluation. In the other EMRO countries, a lower prevalence that does not exceed 1% was reported. Conclusion: The epidemiology and prevalence of HTLV-1 in the EMRO countries require a tight revision and update. Published studies reveal a scarce distribution of the virus in the African countries of EMRO, while a lower prevalence is denoted in the Asian countries of EMRO, except in Iran, where the prevalence is high.