Infection and coinfection by human papillomavirus, Epstein¨Barr virus and Merkel cell polyomavirus in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx: A retrospective study uri icon


  • Copyright 2018 Vazquez-Guillen et al.Background. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is recognized as an important risk factor for laryngeal carcinogenesis. Although HPV-16 and 18 have been strongly implicated, the presence of other high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) genotypes or the coinfection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPV) may increase the risk, but their etiological association has not been definitively established. Methods. We characterized the genotype-specific HPV and the frequency of EBV and MCPV infections through the detection of their DNA in 195 laryngeal specimens of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) histologically confirmed. Results. HPV DNA was detected in 93 (47.7%) specimens. HPV-11 was the most frequent with 68 cases (73.1%), and HPV-52 was the most frequently HR-HPV found with 51 cases, which corresponds to 54.8% of all HPV-positive specimens. EBV DNA was detected in 54 (27.7%) tumor tissue specimens of which 25 (46.3%) were in coinfection with HPV. MCPV DNA was detected only in 11 (5.6%) cases of which 5 (45.4%) were in coinfection with an HR-HPV. No association between the presence of DNA of the three examined viruses and the patient smoking habits, alcohol consumption, age, the keratinization status, differentiation grade, or localization of the tumor in the larynx were found. Discussion. HPV-52 was the most prevalent HR-HPV, which may suggest that this and other genotypes in addition to HPV-16 and 18 could be considered for prophylaxis. However, further studies including non-cancer larynx cases and the evaluation of other molecular markers and viral co-infection mechanisms are needed to determine the role of the different HR-HPV genotypes, EBV, and MCPV in the etiology of SCC of the larynx.

Publication date

  • January 1, 2018

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