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Test for HTLV-I/II

Sanquin tests the blood of new donors for the presence of HTLV-I and HTLV-II.

What is HTLV-I/II?

HTLV-I/II, the Human T-cell Lymphotrophic Virus, is a virus that can induce a very rare form of leukaemia. After dozens of years, a form of leukaemia (blood cancer) may develop in a small proportion of HTLV-I carriers. Paralysis occurs in a small percentage of infected people.

HTLV-I/II is a rare virus in the Netherlands. It is found in a few percent of the population in Japan, the Caribbean (including the Caribbean Netherlands) and Africa.

Most infected people do not have any symptoms, but do still carry the virus. There is no vaccine against HTLV-I/II.