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Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2008 Apr;36(4):430-40. doi: 10.1016/j.gyobfe.2008.02.008. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

[Clearance, persistence and recurrence of HPV infection].

[Article in French]

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Service de bactériologie-virologie-hygiène, CHU Dupuytren, 2, avenue Martin-Luther-King, 87042 Limoges cedex, France.


Cervical HPV infection is a common sexually transmitted infection. Most women are infected shortly after beginning their first relationship, with the highest prevalence seen in women under 25 years of age. Thereafter, prevalence decreases rapidly. HPV infections are usually transient; but several factors increasing persistence were identified as host factors (genetic or acquired as age, immunodepression, oral contraception, smoking) and viral factors (genotype, variants, viral load, integration...). Although it is now widely admitted that a persistent infection with a high-risk HPV type is necessary for the development of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and invasive disease, whether persistent HPV infections are characterized by the continuing detection of HPV, or by a state of viral latency during which the virus remains undetectable only to reappear later remains unknown. The distinction between a persistent and transient infection is arbitrary depending from both the time of sampling in relation to the natural history of the infection and the interval between samples. The longitudinal studies show that "recurrent" HPV infections offer no evidence that the recurrent episode is correlated with reemergence of the same strain or another strain of the same genotype (wild or variant), but the sequential detection of other HPV type is common. The studies offer no evidence of competition between HPV types but frequently show an increased risk of acquisition of new HPV types in patients already infected compared with those who are HPV-negative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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