Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Prevalence of Oral Human Papilloma Virus in Healthy Individuals in East Azerbaijan Province of Iran

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Prevalence of Oral Human Papilloma Virus in Healthy Individuals in East Azerbaijan Province of Iran

Article excerpt


Background: Human papilloma virus causes benign and malignant abnormalities in different part of the body. The link between high risk types of HPV and some anogenital and aerodigestive tract cancer is well established. Oral HPV infection plays a role in developing oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. We studied the prevalence of oral HPV in healthy individuals and its relative risk factors.

Methods: Saliva samples of 114 healthy subjects were collected for HPV DNA analysis. Volunteers completed questionnaires and signed a written consent. For data analysis descriptive statistic, chi square test and odds ratio was used.

Results: The frequency of oral HPV in healthy individuals was 6.1 %( seven participant).The most frequent type was HPV-18 in five of them.HPV-6 and HPV-66 each was detected in one case. Relation of oral HPV positivity to demo-graphic features and risk factors was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: The prevalence of oral HPV infection in our community is the same as many other communities of developing countries, stressing that HPV-18 were the dominant type.

Keywords: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Oral Cancer, Saliva


Human papilloma virus (HPV) a member of papilloma virus causes infection in epithelial skin cells and mucous membrane (1-4). HPV plays a role in developing benign and malignant disease in different parts of the body like anogenital area, esophagus, conjunctiva, and head and neck. Low risk types of HPV such as type 6,11,40,42,43 cause benign lesion, and high risk types 16,18,31,33,35,45 are related to malignant prolif-eration of epithelial cells. However, only persis- tent infection with high risk HPV may lead to precancerous lesions and finally cancer (4- 9). The role of high - risk type HPV is well estab-lished in more than 90% of cervical cancer in women and nearly 25% of distinct subset of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) (6,10-12). The link between HPV in-fection and oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carci-noma (SCC), is more obviously determined (13, 14). In several studies HPV Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) were detected in approximately 50% of oropharyngeal SCC particularly tonsils and base of tongue (6, 11-13, 15-18). Like cervical cancer, HPV-16 and HPV-18 have been the most common type detected in a HPV-related head and neck squamous cell carcinoma during dec-ades (11,19,20). Several investigators believe this affinity is maybe due to resemblance between cervical and oropharynx epithelium (6,18).

Transmission of HPV occurs easily by any kind of sexual contact (6, 10, 14). All of the sexual ac-tive men and women can be infected with HPV. Intercourse is not the sole transmission route; even kissing could be a possible way for HPV transmission (7,8,21). Some investigators con-sider oral sex may be the main pathway for oral HPV infection (6,8,13).

The prevalence of HPV infection is increasing in developed countries. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that 20 million people in the United States are infected with HPV (10,21). American social health Association has estimated that about 75-80% of Americans will be infected with HPV in some points of their lives before the age of 50 (1). According to many studies, indi-viduals who are having more sexual partners and high-risk sexual behaviour including oral sex have increased chance for being infected by HPV (5-7, 10, 14, 15, 22). Recent case-control studies postu-lated that high risk HPV in oral mucosa can in-crease the risk of the distinct type of oropharyn-geal SCC (1,5,6,12,16). In spite of decreasing prevalence of head and neck cancer accumulating data have demonstrated prevalence of HPV-related HNSCC are rising (7,13,14),that may be due to increasing high-risk sexual behaviour in young adults for having safe sex (6,8,12-14). Considering the important role of oral HPV in this subgroup of HNSCC (1, 16), several studies investigated the prevalence of oral HPV in healthy individuals, but their results have been highly controversial (5, 23, 24), still, limited in-formation exists about the frequency and natural history of oral HPV in healthy people. …

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