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J Med Virol. 2014 Feb;86(2):257-65. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23730. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Diversity of HPV types in cancerous and pre-cancerous penile lesions of South African men: implications for future HPV vaccination strategies.

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  • 1Department of Virology, University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus and National Health Laboratory Service, Pretoria, South Africa.


This study reports the detection of HPV types from cancerous and pre-cancerous penile lesions that were diagnosed histologically. Sixty-six (22 pre-cancerous and 44 cancerous lesions) tissue biopsies, received between 2004 and 2011 by the Anatomical Pathology Department at Dr. George Mukhari Hospital were selected for this study. Total DNA was extracted and genotyped using type specific real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for 18 HPV types. Of 66 samples, only 51 were included in the analysis. Overall, HPV 11 (50.9%) and HPV 16 (49.1%) showed almost similar incidence in the study patients. In pre-cancerous lesions, HPV 11 was more frequent (80.0%), followed by HPV 31 and HPV 16 at 25.0% each and other HPV types included 35 (15.0%), 59 (15.0%), 53 (10.0%), 33 (10.0%), 18 (5.0%), 51 (5.0%), 52 (5.0%), 56 (5.0%), and 67 (5.0%). For cancerous lesions, HPV 16 was the most detected (62.9%), followed by HPV 11 (34.3%), and other HPV types included 18 (11.4%), 33 (5.7%), 39 (5.7%), 45 (5.7%), 66 (5.7%), 52 (2.9%), 58 (2.9%), 6 (2.9%), and 67 (2.9%). Several lesions demonstrated multiple HPV infections, ranging from two to six different types in one lesion. The study showed high diversity of HPV types in cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions of South African males with the most frequent being HPV types 11 and 16. The data suggest that boys could directly benefit from vaccination as they are exposed to variety of HPV types as early as 10 years of age in Africa.


HPV vaccine; genotyping; human papillomavirus; penile cancerous lesions; penile pre-cancerous lesions; real-time polymerase chain reaction

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