Low rate of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in women screened for cervical HPV infection in Southern Italy: A cross-sectional study of 140 immunocompetent subjects



Even though the natural history of cervical and oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has been investigated intensely, the possibility that HPV may infect both sites in the same subject is not well documented. This study investigated the frequency of concurrent oral and cervical HPV infection in southern Italian women, in the light of some selected socio-behavioral variables. One hundred forty women (mean age: 36 years), with known cervical HPV status, were analyzed for oral HPV. Age, smoking/drinking habits, clinical and socio-behavioral history were assessed by personal interviews. Oral mucosal cells were collected by oral brushing and HPV DNA was sought by the use of nested PCR amplification followed by direct DNA sequencing and the commercial assay INNOLiPA HPV Genotyping (Innogenetics N.V., Ghent, Belgium). The data were analyzed by using the chi-square test and a logistic regression (logit) model (P < 0.05 statistically significant). Oral HPV infection was detected in 2/140 (1.4%) cases, being present in 2/76 (2.6%) women with cervical HPV infection and 0/64 uninfected women (P = 0.19). A lack of type-specific concordance in the two patients with concurrent infection was observed. In the sample of population examined, HPV cervical infection does not seem to predispose to oral transmission, even in the presence of oral–genital sexual habits, thus suggesting the independence of infection at the two mucosal sites. J. Med. Virol. 81:1438–1443, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.