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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2014 Dec;290(6):1059-66. doi: 10.1007/s00404-014-3365-7. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Herpes simplex virus type 2 and the risk of cervical cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies.

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School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, No. 13 Hangkong Road, Wuhan, 430030, People's Republic of China.



To assess whether herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection has an effect on the risk of cervical cancer.


A systematic literature search of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus from their inception through July 2013 was conducted and reference lists of retrieved articles were reviewed. Information on the characteristics of the included studies, risk estimates, and control for possible confounding factors was extracted independently by two investigators. A random effects model was used to calculate the pooled risk estimates.


Sixteen articles with 20 studies (14 case control and 6 longitudinal) involving 3,337 patients with cervical cancer were included. Compared with individuals who did not experience HSV-2 infection, the pooled ORs of cervical cancer for individuals with HSV-2 infection were 1.37 (95 % CI 1.12-1.69) for traditional case-control studies and 1.04 (95 % CI 0.82-1.31) for prospective or retrospective nested case-control studies.


Given that a longitudinal study gives a higher level of evidence than a traditional case-control study, the existing observational epidemiological evidence do not support a harmful effect of HSV-2 infection on cervical cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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