St Mary's Hospital at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, hosts the National Referral Centre for patients with HTLV-I and HTLV-II infections

The clinic was established in 1991 to:

  • Provide a centre for the diagnosis, counselling and care of people with HTLV infection and their families.

  • To investigate why and how some people with HTLV-I infection develop disease.

  • To study and improve the treatment of patients with HTLV-I-associated disease.

Services include:

  • Pre-test Information

  • Diagnosis

  • Long-term Follow Up

  • Specialist management of HTLV associated diseases

  • Patient Information

  • Research Studies

  • Clinical Trials


HTLV-I infection is associated with symptom-less carriage in more than 90% of infected persons but HTLV-I associated diseases include and Spinal Cord Inflammation and leukaemia.

HTLV-II does not usually cause disease but very occasionally patients may develop Spinal Cord Inflammation.

HTLV-I and HTLV-II-associated Spinal Cord Inflammation (HAM) is characterized by weakness and stiffness of the legs, bladder dysfunction, constipation, low back pain and impotence.

ATLL may present as a lymphoma in the skin, or in the lymph nodes or as a leukaemia (cancer of white blood cells).



Updated: December 2009