Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) is a human, single-stranded RNA retrovirus that causes T-cell leukemia and T-cell lymphoma. The virus activates a subset of T-helper cellscalled Th1cells. The result is a proliferation of Th1 cells and overproduction of Th1 related cytokines (mainly IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha). Feedback mechanisms of these cytokines cause a suppression of the Th2 lymphocytes and a reduction of Th2 cytokine production (mainly IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IL-13). The end result is a reduction in the ability of the infected host to mount an adequate immune response to invading organisms that require a predominantly Th2 dependant response (these include parasitic infections and production of mucosal and humoral antibodies).