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Cell Biosci. 2012 May 9;2(1):17. doi: 10.1186/2045-3701-2-17.

Human papillomavirus type 58: the unique role in cervical cancers in East Asia.

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Department of Microbiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1/F Clinical Sciences Building, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China.



About 15 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are classified as high-risk based on their epidemiological link with cervical cancer. These HPV types have deferent degrees of oncogenicity and their distribution among cervical precancers and cancers varies ethnogeographically. HPV58 is rare worldwide but being found more commonly in East Asia.


A high prevalence of HPV58 among squamous cell carcinoma has been reported from China (28% in Shanghai, 10% in Hong Kong and 10% in Taiwan) and other countries in East Asia including Korea (16%) and Japan (8%). HPV58 ranks the third in Asia overall, but contributes to only 3.3% of cervical cancers globally. The reasons for a difference in disease attribution may lie on the host as well as the virus itself. HLA-DQB1*06 was found to associate with a higher risk of developing HPV58-positive cervical neoplasia in Hong Kong women, but not neoplasia caused by other HPV types. An HPV58 variant (E7 T20I, G63S) commonly detected in Hong Kong was found to confer a 6.9-fold higher risk of developing cervical cancer compared to other variants. A study involving 15 countries/cities has shown a predilection in the distribution of HPV58 variant lineages. Sublineage A1, the prototype derived from a cancer patient in Japan, was rare worldwide except in Asia.


HPV58 accounts for a larger share of disease burden in East Asia, which may be a result of differences in host genetics as well as the oncogenicity of circulating variants. These unique characteristics of HPV58 should be considered in the development of next generation vaccines and diagnostic assays.

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