NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) began testing all blood donations in England and Wales for HTLV in August 2002. Some of the positive donors identified had donated blood before the introduction of testing. As a result, NHSBT began a 'lookback' to identify any recipients of these potentially infected donations. The lookback provided an opportunity to recruit these people and their families to an HTLV National Register for long-term follow up.
The main aim of the HTLV National Register is to describe the epidemiology of HTLV in blood donors, recipients of potentially infected blood and their families in England and Wales. Factors associated with transmission, disease and survival in HTLV-infected individuals will also be investigated e.g. the potential impact of leucodepletion of blood components (removal of white blood cells).
Little is known about HTLV-associated disease in Europe. The HTLV National Register enables us to collect information on a group of HTLV infected individuals as they are diagnosed, who are later followed up in order to investigate the signs and symptoms of disease as or if they develop.
The HPA Centre for Infections is conducting the study in collaboration with NHSBT, Imperial College and colleagues at HTLV specialist referral centres.
For further information contact Katy Davison.
For more information on surveillance of HTLV in England and Wales see:
HTLV - Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus