Print this article
Share this page:
Also known as: Human T-Lymphotropic Virus; HTLV-1/2 Antibodies; HTLV-1/2 by PCR
Formal name: Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Types 1/2 Antibodies; Human T- Lymphotropic Virus Types 1 and 2 by PCR
Related tests: Full Blood Count, WBC Differential, lumbar puncture

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

Antibodies (serology): To determine whether someone is infected with HTLV, either as a general screen, following potential contact with the virus, or as part of an investigation into the cause of a person’s illness (for example leukaemia or neurological disorders).

Molecular Tests: To confirm diagnosis when antibody tests are inconclusive, to assess risk of development of HTLV-associated complications; to aid diagnosis of HTLV-associated diseases; to monitor infection and treatment.

When to Get Tested?

When you have signs or symptoms that suggest that you may have an HTLV-associated condition, especially when you have identified risk factors; rarely when you have donated blood and been told that you are positive for HTLV

Sample Required?

  • Blood taken via a venepuncture from the arm (usual - almost always this is the sample taken)
  • Cerebrospinal fluid taken from the lower back via a lumbar puncture (uncommon)
  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue e.g. a lymph node or skin (uncommon)

Test Preparation Needed?

No special patient preparation is required for these tests