Prevalence of oral HPV infection in cervical HPV positive women
20 September 2018 (online)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) represents a potential risk factor for oral and cervical premalignant and malignant disease. However, the correlation of cervical and oral HPV infection in individuals remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of oral HPV infection in cervical HPV positive and negative women.
Mouthwash, oral swabs and cervical swabs of 193 women as well as mouthwash and oral swabs of 74 sexual partners were obtained. HPV genotyping was performed using the Cobas® polymerase chain reaction and nucleic acid hybridization assay for the detection of 14 high-risk HPV types. Further, all participants were invited to complete a personal questionnaire.
Within groups, age, sexual history/practice, medication, smoking and alcohol use were distributed equally. Cervical HPV positive women had a significantly higher number of sexual partners. 129 of 193 women were found to have a positive cervical smear. One woman with a positive cervical smear and one partner of a woman with a positive cervical smear showed an oral HPV infection. No oral HPV infections were detected in the control group. The overall incidence of oral HPV infection was 0.5%, the incidence of oral HPV infection in women with a positive cervical smear was 0.8%.
The overall risk of oral HPV infection is low. The data suggest that HPV transmission to the oropharynx by autoinoculation or oral-genital contact represents a rare and unlikely event. However, efforts should be made to better understand the mechanisms of oral HPV infection and clearance.