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J Med Virol. 2008 Jul;80(7):1275-81. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21189.

HPV prevalence among healthy Italian male sexual partners of women with cervical HPV infection.

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  • 1Pathology Department, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.


Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the causative agent of cervical cancer and is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Only limited and controversial data are available regarding HPV transmission in male sexual partners of women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and the genotype distribution of HPV in penile scrapings of a series of Italian men, who had no visible penile lesions and were partners of women who were affected, or had been affected previously by cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or who were infected with HPV. The concordance of the viral group in the infected partners was determined. A total of 77 penile scrapings were screened for HPV infection by the polymerase chain reaction, while 59 cervicovaginal brushings of their female partners were tested. 35% of evaluable male samples and 64% of female sexual partners were found to be HPV positive. In the 55 simultaneously evaluable couples, a concordance of 45% was found, 11 couples (20%) with both partners being HPV negative and 14 couples (25%) with both partners HPV positive (P=0.001). Six out of the 14 couples (43%), where both partners were HPV positive, harbored the same HPV genotype group. These data, although preliminary, could support further the hypothesis that male HPV infection is more frequent in sexual partners of HPV positive or women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia indicating that men could represent an important source of HPV transmission between sex partners.

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