What Is the Difference between HTLV 1 and 2?

You have seen kids and adults suffering from Leukemia or neurological disorders diseases. These conditions can also affect old-world monkeys since they have close genetic compositions with humans.

So, what is the difference between HTLV 1 and 2? The former is associated with neoplasia, whereas the latter is non-pathogenic. The HTLV is an abbreviation for Human T-cell Lymphotropic virus.

Comprehending the difference between these retroviruses can be challenging for students in school medicine. We wrote this article to provide detailed insights into the main differences between HTLV 1 and 2 with a comparison table.

Difference between HTLV 1 and 2 in Table

Terms HTLV 1 HTLV 2
Meaning It is a virus that affects T cells and can cause leukemia. It is a type of virus that share structural similarity with HTLV 1.
Cell Entry Via GLUT-1 and NRP 1 cellular receptors and Heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Via GLUT-1 and NRP 1 receptors.
Clinical Impact Neoplasia, adult T-cell Leukemia, and neurological diseases. Increase in lymphocyte and platelet counts.
Geographical Distribution Japan, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Africa, Central and South America (Indian-America tribe).
Preferred Cell Types CD4+ T lymphocytes CD8+ T lymphocytes
Treatment Aggressive chemotherapy, interferon-alpha, and allogenic bone marrow transplant. Chemotherapy and antiretrovirals.

What Is HTLV 1?

It is a viral infection that causes several diseases such as adult T-cell Leukemia and neoplasia. HTLV 1 is associated with myelopathy or tropical spastic paraparesis.

HTLV 1 contains seven subtypes (A through G) where subtype A causes most diseases. Most people with HTLV 1 subtype A develop cancer in the long run.

The genome of HTLV 1 contains two copies of single-stranded RNA that copy into the double-stranded DNA to integrate into the host genome.

What Is HTLV 2?

It is a virus closely related to HTLV 1 with four subtypes (A through D). HTLV 2 shares 70% of genome homology with the genome of HTLV 1.

The transmission of HTLV 2 viruses occurs through blood-to-blood contact during sex, blood transfusion, and breastfeeding.

HTLV 2 is also associated with the neurologic disorder and chronic pulmonary infection. Both HTLV 1 and 2 are deltaretroviruses.

Main Difference between HTLV 1 and 2

  1. HTLV 1 infects the T-cells and causes leukemia, while HTLV 2 has a structural similarity with HTLV 1.
  2. HTLV 1 enters through GLUT-1 and NRP 1 cellular receptors and heparan sulfate proteoglycans.
  3. HTLV 1 causes neoplasia, adult T-cell leukemia, and neurological diseases, while HTLV 2 increases lymphocytes and platelet counts.
  4. HTLV 1 prefers CD4+ T lymphocytes, while HTLV 2 prefers CD8+ T Lymphocytes
  5. HTLV 1 is common in Japan, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and the Caribbean, while HTLV 2 is in Africa, Central, and South America.

Similarities between HTLV 1 and 2

  1. Both are delta retroviruses with similar genome structure
  2. Both have an overall nucleotide homology of about 70%
  3. Both have single-stranded RNA with their genetic materials
  4. Both can be diagnosed through blood tests.
  5. Both have similar patterns of transmission

My Final Thoughts

Robert Gallo is the scientist behind the discovery of HTLV 1 and 2 at the National Cancer Institute laboratory. The main difference between HTLV 1 and 2 is that the former causes adult T-cell leukemia and neurological disorder while the latter is non-pathogenic.

We hope this information will help differentiate between HTLV 1 and 2 during your revision for biological examinations. Feel free to share the article with your classmates or friends.

People Who Read This Also Read:

Leave a Comment