March 6, 2019

HTLV stands for Human T-cell Leukemia Virus. It is a retrovirus that infects a type of white blood cell called a T-cell or T-lymphocyte. HTLV-1 can be passed on through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal secretions, breast milk and organ transplants. Two of the more severe consequences of HTLV-1 infection are ATLL (adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma) and HAM/TSP (HTLV-1-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis) which is an inflammation of the cells of the spinal cord that can cause stiffness and weakness of the legs, lower leg and backache, a ‘weak’ bladder, constipation and erectile dysfunction. In other words, consequences that severely impact the quality of one’s life. Now, research conducted with colleagues at Southern Methodist University, has shown that PBI-05204 (as well as oleandrin) has the ability to reduce the potential of HTLV-1 virus to ‘synapse’ with cells thus blocking the infection. A manuscript describing this exciting research is presently being prepared.

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