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Virus classification e
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Riboviria
Kingdom: Pararnavirae
Phylum: Artverviricota
Class: Revtraviricetes
Order: Ortervirales
Family: Retroviridae
Subfamily: Orthoretrovirinae
Genus: Deltaretrovirus

Deltaretrovirus is a genus of the Retroviridae family. It consists of exogenous horizontally transmitted viruses found in several groups of mammals. As of 2023, ICTV lists under this genus the Bovine leukemia virus and three species of primate T-lymphotropic virus.

The genus of viruses is known for its propensity to target immune cells and oncogenity, evident in the names of the four named species.[1] Infection is usually asymptomatic, but inflammation and cancer can develop over time.[2]


Four species are recognized by the ICTV as of 2023:

Two additional PTLVs are known but not regonized: HTLV-4 (South Cameroon, 2005) and STLV-5 (Mac B43 strain, highly divergent PTLV-1).[3]

In addition, eight endogenous retroviruses identified as Deltaretrovirus are known as of 2019. Two of these were complete enough to show ORFs; the rest only showing long terminal repeats.[1]


Known exogenous deltaretroviruses infect cattle and primates.[1]

The two complete endogenous ones were found in bats and dolphins; the others in Solenodon, mongoose, and fossa. These endogenous examples fill in the large gap in the host range.[1]

Clinical relevance

HTLV-1 clinical forms, after infection, 3 clinical forms can occur[4]

In terms of clinical relevance HTLV-1 is the most significant capable of inducing malignant disease via pathogen; it is a potent oncogenic agent[5]

There is no current vaccine[5]

One finds that treatment focuses on the symptoms of associated diseases[6][5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hron, T; Elleder, D; Gifford, RJ (27 November 2019). "Deltaretroviruses have circulated since at least the Paleogene and infected a broad range of mammalian species". Retrovirology. 16 (1): 33. doi:10.1186/s12977-019-0495-9. PMC 6882180. PMID 31775783.
  2. Farkašová, H; Hron, T; Pačes, J; Hulva, P; Benda, P; Gifford, RJ; Elleder, D (21 March 2017). "Discovery of an endogenous Deltaretrovirus in the genome of long-fingered bats (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae)". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114 (12): 3145–3150. Bibcode:2017PNAS..114.3145F. doi:10.1073/pnas.1621224114. PMC 5373376. PMID 28280099.
  3. Mahieux, R; Gessain, A (July 2011). "HTLV-3/STLV-3 and HTLV-4 viruses: discovery, epidemiology, serology and molecular aspects". Viruses. 3 (7): 1074–90. doi:10.3390/v3071074. PMC 3185789. PMID 21994771.
  4. Dias, Apio R. N.; Falcão, Luiz F. M.; Falcão, Aline S. C.; Normando, Valéria M. F.; Quaresma, Juarez A. S. (2018). "Human T Lymphotropic Virus and Pulmonary Diseases". Frontiers in Microbiology. 9. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01879/full. ISSN 1664-302X.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Bryan, Elizabeth S.; Tadi, Prasanna (2023). "Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus". StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. Archived from the original on 2022-11-10. Retrieved 2023-12-09.
  6. "New WHO report on Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 highlights strategies for its prevention and control". Archived from the original on 10 November 2022. Retrieved 9 December 2023.

External links