Human T-lymphotropic virus types I and II (HTLV-I and HTLV-II) are human retroviruses discovered just prior to HIV. They are important because they i) infect up to 14 million (HTLV-I) and several million (HTLV-II) people worldwide;ii) are one of few human cancer viruses, causing T-lymphocytic leukemia/lymphoma, myelopathy and autoimmune disease (HTLV-I) and myelopathy and increased cancer mortality (HTLV-II);and iii) serve as models for the epidemiology and pathogenesis of other human retroviral infections such as HIV. The International Conference on Human Retrovirology: HTLV and Related Viruses is a biennial conference which serves to unite the global community HTLV researchers at the only regular international meeting devoted exclusively to HTLV infection. Approximately 300 scholars from HTLV-endemic regions and international infectious disease research institutions gather at this biennial meeting to present their latest data on the molecular virology, immunology, epidemiology and clinical outcomes of HTLV infection. Historically the meeting has been held in HTLV-endemic areas such as Hawaii, Jamaica, Trinidad, Brazil, and southeastern Japan, or at international research centers such as Paris, Dublin and San Francisco. The 2011 meeting planned for Belgium will be the first European meeting since 2001. Due to exciting discoveries in these fields, the conference will include a new session on the human endogenous retroviruses, foamy viruses and XMRV. The recent discovery of new members of the HTLV class, namely HTLV-III and HTLV-IV in Central Africans with high exposure to non-human primates, also argues for the timeliness of the proposed conference. The conference is a crucial networking venue for translating advances in HTLV virology and immunology into the clinical domain, as witnessed by clinical trial networks for ATL and myelopathy organized and reported on within the conferences. Funding from this application will allow travel scholarships for 15 junior scientists and lower registration fees for scientists from low and middle income countries, assuring broader diversity of the audience.
The International Conference on Human Retrovirology: HTLV and Related Viruses is a conference held every two years and the 2011 conference will be held in Leuven, Belgium. Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) is a human retrovirus that causes leukemia and paralysis, and HTLV research may also help to understand HIV disease and multiple sclerosis. Approximately 300 scholars from HTLV-endemic regions and international infectious disease research institutions will present their latest data on the molecular virology, immunology, epidemiology and clinical outcomes of HTLV infection.