In this study we report the case of an acute form of ATL in a HTLV-I-infected Nigeria-born 27-year-old female prostitute living in Italy from February, 2001. The presence of HTLV-I infection was demonstrated by the detection of serum antibody to HTLV-I by immunoenzymatic assay and western blot analysis. In addition, the presence of HTLV-I proviral DNA was confirmed by a hemi-nested PCR in a sample of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. From an epidemiological point of view, it is important to report new cases of imported ATL, as it may explain the otherwise untraceable origin of some rare and apparently autochthonous cases of ATL in non-endemic areas.
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