Geographical distribution of areas with a high prevalence of HTLV-1 infection
In November 2012, the EU Commission adopted the Directive 2012/39/EU amending Directive 2006/17/EC as regards certain technical requirements for the testing of human issues and cells intended for human application. In line with ECDC’s recommendations provided in the ’Risk Assessment of HTLV-1/2 transmission by tissue/cell transplantation’ dated 14 March 2012, this Directive replaces the term ‘incidence’ with ‘prevalence’ in the description of endemic areas of HTLV-1/2 infection. According to the new requirements ‘HTLV-1 antibody testing must be performed for donors living in, or originating... from high-prevalence areas or with sexual partners originating from those areas or where the donor’s parents originate from those areas’ and this applies to both donors of non-reproductive tissues and cells and reproductive cells. In order to assist Member States with the implementation of the new requirements, the EU Commission asked ECDC to construct a map indicating HTLV-1 high-prevalence areas in the world. ECDC contracted experts from the Institut Pasteur in Paris to systematically review the published evidence on the distribution of HTLV-1 infection prevalence throughout the world and to identify high-prevalence countries and areas. An ad-hoc group of experts then critically reviewed the list of countries with identified status of HTLV-1 infections and agreed on the determined prevalence. ECDC subsequently constructed the maps according to the agreed list, compiled the data and prepared a technical document.