Anti-p19 is an antibody that binds to the antigen p19. Antigen p19 is a protein molecule that is found on the membrane of cells that are infected with the Human T-Leukemia Virus type 1 (HTLV-1). The virus canât produce viral proteins by itself so it âforcesâ the infected cell to produce all the necessary viral proteins including p19.
The Human T-leukemia Virus type I (HTLV-1) is a human retrovirus which can stay hidden in the T-lymphocytes. HTLV-1 attacks T-lymphocytes and can cause malignant transformation of these T-lymphocytes to lymphoma and leukemia. An HTLV-1-infection is clearly associated with some serious human diseases, such as adult T cell leukemia (ATL) and another associated neurological disorder called myelopathy, or tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Approximately 10 to 20 million people are thought to be infected with this virus worldwide. Although most infected persons remain asymptomatic and do not progress to disease, about 2 to 3% of the carriers will develop ATL and another 2 to 3% may develop chronic inflammatory diseases of various organs and tissues, including the central nervous system, eyes, lungs, or skeletal muscles.
The anti-p19 antibody is used only to diagnose HTLV-1 infection and is not used for treatment.
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