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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1997 May;176(5):1039-45.

Exposure of an infant to cervical human papillomavirus infection of the mother is common.

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Department of Pathology, University of Kuopio, Finland.



The purpose of this study was to determine the potential of exposure of an infant to cervical human papillomavirus infection of the mother.


Cervical scrapes of the mothers and nasopharyngeal aspirate fluids of their infants were analyzed at the time of delivery. The study included 106 infants born by vaginal delivery or by cesarean section and their 105 mothers. Positive results were confirmed and typed by direct deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing or single-strand conformation polymorphism of the polymerase chain reaction product.


Both the mother's and her infant's samples were positive for the same type of human papillomavirus in 29 mother-infant pairs. Interestingly, five infants born by cesarean section were found to be human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid positive for the same human papillomavirus type as their mother. The overall concordance between human papillomavirus types in the mother and her newborn was 69% (29/42). Regardless of match in types found in the mother's and her infant's sample, human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid positivity was found in 39 of all the 106 infants (37%).


Our results indicate that the infant of the human papillomavirus-infected mother is exposed to infection even when the cervical infection of the mother is subclinical. The possibility of transplacental exposure has to be considered as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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