November 7, 1986

Antibodies to HTLV-I in Japanese Immigrants in Brazil

Author Affiliations

Kochi Medical School Japan
Escola Paulista de Medicina São Paulo, Brazil

JAMA. 1986;256(17):2342. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380170058009

To the Editor.—  Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I), the causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia, is endemic in southern Japan,1 the Caribbean islands,2 and parts of Africa.3 The prevalence of antibodies to HTLV-I is highest in Okinawa, Japan, where up to 31% of adults are seropositive in some regions.4 Moreover, a high seroprevalence rate has been found in Japanese immigrants from Okinawa and their offspring in Hawaii.5 This prompted us to look at the antibody prevalence in a similar immigrant population in Brazil.

Methods.—  Serum samples were collected from 46 Japanese immigrants (issei) from Okinawa and 50 offspring (nisei) of immigrants from Okinawa in Campo Grande, Brazil. They ranged in age from 29 to 84 years (mean, 66 years) for the issei (28 men, 18 women) and from 21 to 59 years (mean, 36 years) for the nisei (38 men, 12 women). The