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J Infect Dis. 2011 Feb 1;203(3):341-3. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiq056. Epub 2010 Dec 14.

Evidence of human papillomavirus in the placenta.

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  • 1Unit of Microbiology, Institute of Pharmacy, Universit√© Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an epitheliotropic virus typically infecting keratinocytes but also possibly epithelial trophoblastic placental cells. In the present study, we set out to investigate whether HPV can be recovered from transabdominally obtained placental cells to avoid any confounding contamination by HPV-infected cervical cells. Thirty-five placental samples from women undergoing transabdominal chorionic villous sampling were analyzed, and we detected HPV-16 and HPV-62 in 2 placentas. This study suggests that HPV infection of the placenta can occur early in pregnancy. The overall clinical implication of these results remains to be elucidated.

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