Immunopathology of Human T-Cell Lymphotrophic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1)

Project Details


HTLV-1, which has homologues in simian populations (STLV), is a retrovirus which can cause a fatal adult T-cell leukaemia (ATL) in five -10 per cent of infected patients for which there is currently no effective treatment.

The staff research body is investigating a number of mechanisms whereby HTLV-1 proteins can precipitate the development of ATL, with a particular emphasis on the ability of the viral proteins Tax and HBZ to induce proliferative responses and down-regulate programmed cell death.

New viral zoonoses can emerge at any time. Zika virus, originally from non-human primates, was first noted in Ugandan patients in 1948 but has only very recently been shown to be associated with an epidemic of microencephaly in new-born infants in South America. This unexpected outcome of what was thought to be an apathogenic zoonotic organism emphasises the need to understand the complex pathology of viral infection and such studies as described in this proposal are applicable to many types of viruses, including retroviruses such as HTLV.

Dr Simon Jeffs, Fadoua Soussi, Ben Mollett, (University of Brighton) Professor Graham Taylor (Imperial College London).

Key findings

Currently, there is no effective treatment for ATL and these studies are a step to providing therapeutic pointers to deal with this and other related retroviruses which, like HIV, have the potential to transfer into human populations.
Effective start/end date1/01/1630/09/16


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