Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Annual Conference

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Annual Conference

May 21, 2014
1 min read
Save

HPV detected in more than two-thirds of US adults

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Nearly 70% of healthy Americans were found to be infected with one or more strains of HPV, but most of the strains identified were harmless, according to new data presented at the 2014 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

A 2-year study conducted by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center analyzed the DNA sequencing data of 103 healthy adults aged 18 to 80 years. The data were generated from the NIH’s Human Microbiome Project and included DNA from hundreds of samples taken from various major organs, including the skin, vagina, mouth and gut.

According to the researchers, some HPV types identified in their analysis may actually contribute to better health.

“Our study offers initial and broad evidence of a seemingly ‘normal’ HPV viral biome in people that does not necessarily cause disease and that could very well mimic the highly varied bacterial environment in the body, or microbiome, which is key to maintaining good health,” study researcher Zhiheng Pei, MD, PhD, an NYU pathologist, said in a press release.

Zhiheng Pei, MD, PhD 

Zhiheng Pei

The researchers identified 109 of 148 known HPV types in the cohort. However, only four adults were infected with types 16 and 18, which are associated with most cervical cancers. The most common organ to have HPV infection was the skin (61.3%), followed by the vagina (41.5%), mouth (30%) and gut (17.3%). Of those infected with HPV (71/103, 68.9%), 59% had HPV in a single organ vs. 31% with two infected organs and 10% with three infected organs. The coexistence of multiple HPV types was found in 48.1% of HPV-positive samples.

Most of the HPV types identified in their analysis were undetectable by current HPV tests, suggesting the need for better diagnostics.

According to Pei and colleagues, future research should focus on the interaction between the harmless HPV types and those that cause cancer.

For more information:

Ma Y. Abstract #2357. Presented at: 2014 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology; May 17-20, 2014; Boston.

Disclosure: The study was funded by the NIH and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.