Skip to main content

Human T-Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) I/II Immunoblot Confirmation

Test Code: 30835

A special account is required to order pre-transplant testing. Contact Client Services or your account executive to set up a pre-transplant account to order this assay. Specimens should not be collected until after account has been created.

Expand All Collapse All
Clinical and Procedure
Clinical Utility

The MP Diagnostics HTLV Blot 2.4 is a qualitative enzyme immunoassay intended for confirming the presence of and differentiating antibodies to HTLV-I and HTLV-II in human serum and plasma. It is intended for use as a supplemental (additional, more specific) test for human serum and plasma samples with repeatedly reactive results by an FDA licensed HTLV-I/II donor screening test. The MP Diagnostics HTLV Blot 2.4 is intended for use in a manual mode or a semi-automated mode using the MP Diagnostics AutoBlot System 20. This test is not intended for use in medical diagnosis.

About HTLV

Human T-cell Lymphotropic Viruses (HTLVs) are pathogenic retroviruses that may cause severe hematological and neurological diseases in infected individuals. The HTLV family has two well-studied members: HTLV-I and HTLV-II. HTLV-I is known as the etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), HTLV-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), and HTLV-associated uveitis. Although less pathogenic than HTLV-I, HTLV-II infection has been associated with leukemia and neurological disease but the causal relationship remains uncertain.

Studies of the geographic distribution of HTLV-I infection reveal that the HTLV-I virus is highly prevalent in Japan, Africa, the Caribbean Islands, and South America. Recent epidemiological studies in the United States and Europe confirm the presence of a mixed prevalence of both HTLV-I and HTLV-II among different high-risk populations, such as intravenous drug users and transfusion recipients. The viruses can be transmitted through sexual contact, through contaminated blood products, and from mother to child via breastfeeding.

Screening tests for HTLV-I/II are available although limited. Repeatedly reactive specimens from screening tests require additional more specific tests to confirm HTLV seropositivity including discrimination of HTLV-I and HTLV-II seropositives. These supplemental assays (i.e. type-specific peptide EIAs, ELISAs, or Western blots) must be capable of identifying antibodies to core (gag) and envelope (env) proteins of HTLV-I and HTLV-II. Western blot strips incorporating HTLV-I native viral antigens are one such commonly used supplemental test.

Screening of whole blood donations for the presence of antibodies to HTLV-I/II has been required in the United States since 1988. Simple yet specific and sensitive supplemental serological tests are therefore needed to enable rapid confirmation and differentiation of HTLV-I and HTLV-II seropositive samples. A supplemental test is essential to provide additional key information necessary for donor counseling, follow-up testing, and/or treatment.



The MP Diagnostics HTLV Blot 2.4 is intended as a supplemental (additional more specific), test to confirm the presence of anti-HTLV-I/II antibodies in blood donor specimens repeatedly reactive on an FDA licensed screening test and to differentiate between HTLV type-I and HTLV type-II infections for donor notification and counseling. The possible serological profiles defined by the HTLV Blot 2.4 include the following: HTLV-I Seropositive, HTLV-II Seropositive, HTLVI/II Seropositive, Seronegative and Indeterminate.

The MP Diagnostics HTLV Blot 2.4 uses a combination of HTLV-I/II genetically engineered proteins (i.e., recombinant antigens) and HTLV-I viral proteins derived from native, inactivated viral particles (i.e., viral lysate). The differentiation between HTLV-I and HTLV-II is accomplished through the use of rgp46-I, a unique HTLV-I envelope recombinant protein, and rgp46-II, a unique HTLV-II envelope recombinant protein. Both proteins are derived from the central region of the external glycoprotein, gp46, of HTLV-I and HTLV-II respectively. GD21, a common yet specific HTLV-I and HTLV-II epitope envelope recombinant protein derived from a truncated region of p21e (rgp21), is also used to enhance the specificity of envelope antibody detection: GD21 has demonstrated better specificity over p21e73, an earlier version of the recombinant antigen. The antigenicity exhibited by these recombinant proteins is either common to HTLV-I and HTLV-II antibodies or type specific to one of the two viral types to allow confirmation and differentiation in a single assay. Additional differentiation between HTLV viral types is effected using gag proteins p19 and p24; if p19 is greater than or equal to p24, HTLV-I infection is suggested, and if p24 is greater than p19, HTLV-II infection is suggested67-71. Test performed by Viromed/LabCorp 1447 York Ct., Burlington, NC 27215. This test has not been cleared or approved for diagnostic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. See package insert for more information.

Turnaround Time

7-10 business days from receipt of specimen.

Specimen Information
Specimen Type Order Code CPT Code NY Approved Volume Assay Range Special Instructions
Serum (1) 30835 86790 Yes

50 µL (min 25 µL)


  • Collect whole blood in an gold or red top tube.
  • Centrifuge and transfer 50 µL (min 25 µL) serum to sterile, screw top tube.
  • Specimens shipped at refrigerated temperature must be received within 7 days of collection or frozen within 7 days.

All specimens must be labeled with patient's name and collection date. A Viracor/VRL Eurofins Pre-Transplant test requisition form must accompany each specimen. Multiple tests can be run on one specimen. Ship specimens FedEx Priority Overnight® to: VRL Eurofins, 6933 S. Revere Parkway, Centennial, CO 80112.

Causes for Rejection

Whole blood frozen, specimens beyond their acceptable length of time from collection as listed in the specimen handling, or specimen types other than those listed.


Specimens are approved for testing in New York only when indicated in the Specimen Information field above. The CPT codes provided are based on VRL Eurofins' interpretation of the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and are provided for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Questions regarding coding should be addressed to your local Medicare carrier. VRL Eurofins assumes no responsibility for billing errors due to reliance on the CPT codes illustrated in this material.

Back to top