Posted: February 2024

  • Study Update

    To better understand the associations between HTLV infection, proviral load and disease, as well as assess the impact on health care utilisation and life expectancy within the Australian indigenous population over a 5+ year period, the NRL have been providing the testing services for a large Longitudinal Study currently being performed in central Australia.

    Over the last 2 ½ years, more than 1200 study participants have provided informed consent (in Native language) and recruited into this study that covers Communities in a 1000 km2 region spanning both NT and WA. With a huge proportion of participants recruited in the last 3 months (Q4) of 2023, the NRL Testing and R&D teams have worked tirelessly to finalise all baseline testing of participants and in February 2024, provided a comprehensive database of results to the Study organisers at the Baker and Kirby Institutes.

    While the final testing dataset is currently being assessed to determine a prevalence of HTLV infection in different Communities, it is clear that the data generated in this Study will allow an important opportunity to assess the health impacts of HTLV in a region previously found to have the highest rate of infection in the world.

    Participating communities in the Baker Institute led HTLV-1 Longitudinal Study for which NRL are providing study planning, sample validation and testing services. Aerial image of Milyirrtjarra Community (also known as Warburton) shown in right panel and indicated by the red locator in (left panel).