Syndromes Associated with Human Retroviruses
Tropical Spastic Paraparesis
Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (TSP), also called HTLV-1-Associated Myelopathy (HAM), is a syndrome caused by infection with the HTLV-1 retrovirus. TSP/HAM is a chronic progressive disease of the nervous system that manifests clinically as overall lethargy, weakness, stiff muscles, difficulty walking, lower back pain, muscle spasms, cramping sensation of the legs, sensory disturbance, urinary and sphincter dysfunction, and impotence or decreased libido. HTLV-1 is thought to be responsible for over 90% of TSP/HAM cases.
Acute Retroviral Disease
Acute retroviral disease is a result of infection with HIV and is defined as a clinical presentation of symptoms appearing in the 10-12 days period after initial infection.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms that are a result of damages done to the immune system by HIV. As HIV infection progresses and destroys more and more of the host’s functional immune system, the host becomes weakened and deficient in that it is no longer able to fight off other infection. Advanced HIV infection manifests clinically as rapid weight loss, dry cough, profound and unexplained fatigue, swollen lymph glands, pneumonia, oral hairy leukoplakia, recurring fever, and sometimes as memory loss and depression. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection, characterized by prevalence of opportunistic infections and reactivation diseases.
Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a rare blood cancer of the immune system, specifically of T-cells, that is principally caused by Human T-Lymphotropic Virus 1 (HTLV-1). ATLL is a highly aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that typically manifests clinically as fatigue, weight loss, skin rashes, fever, thirst, night sweats, and lumps around the groin, neck, and armpit regions.