Monday, February 15, 2016

Evidence for Placental HPV Infection in Both HIV Positive and Negative Women

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have previously been reported to infect epithelial trophoblast cells of the placenta. 

To investigate this possibility, 200 placental samples from Zambian women were separated into HIV+ and HIV- groups and tested for HPV by redundant primer PCR, using GP5+/GP6+ and CPI/CPII primer sets. 

Three HPV genotypes (HPV6, 16 and 90) were detected in placental samples. Whereas, 20 different HPV genotypes were detected in vaginal sampling of the same patients, suggesting that compartment specific sub-populations of HPV may exist. The incidence of HPV16 in placental samples was almost 2-fold greater in HIV+ women compared to HIV- (p = 0.0241). HPV16 L1 expression, detected by immunochemistry, was significantly higher in HIV+ than HIV- samples (p = 0.0231). HPV16 DNA was detected in the nuclei of trophoblast cells by in situ hybridization. 

Overall, these results suggest that HPVs infect the placenta and that HIV significantly influences these infections.

Below:  The distribution of HPV in HIV-negative and HIV-positive placental samples. Three types of HPVs were isolated including the low risk (LR)-HPV6, high-risk (HR)-HPV16 and the rarely reported HPV90. The pie-chart on the left side shows the distribution of HPV genotypes in HIV-negative placental tissues and; The pie-chart on the right side shows the distribution of HPV genotypes in HIV-positive placental tissues. To determine the HPV genotypes, the PCR products were cloned into the pGEMT vector and sequenced. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05; p = 0.0241) in the distribution of HPV16 between the HIV−/HPV16+ and the HIV+/HPV16+ groups, with an odds ratio of 2.1. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05; p = 0.0864) in the distribution of HPV6 between the HIV−/HPV16+ and the HIV+/HPV16+ groups.

Full article at:

  • 1Nebraska Center for Virology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA.
  • 2University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA. 

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