To explore the effect of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection on hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, a survey for these viral infections was conducted that involved 2280 residents in an area in which HTLV-1 and HCV are endemic. The response of patients with HCV and HTLV-1 to interferon (IFN)-α treatment was also assessed. Antibody to HCV was detected in 13.8% of the residents tested, and antibody to HTLV-1 was detected in 15.4%. The prevalence of HCV RNA was significantly higher among residents who had antibodies to both HCV and HTLV-1 than in those who had antibodies to HCV only (P < .05). Sustained elimination of HCV RNA by IFN was significantly more frequent among patients with HCV alone than among those with HCV and HTLV-1. By logistic regression analysis, HTLV-1 infection was associated with nonresponse to IFN treatment. Thus, HTLV-1 infection affects the clearance, both natural and in association with IFN treatment, of HCV.
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