Vertical Transmission of Human Papillomavirus Infections

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 2633

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Guest Editor
1. Emerita Professor, Department of Oral Pathology, Institute of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 2, 20520 Turku, Finland
2. Emerita Chief Physician (Co-affiliation), Department of Pathology, University of Turku, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
Interests: human papillomaviruses; cancer; oral mucosa; upper aero-digestive tract; genital mucosa
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Dear Colleagues,

Though HPV infection of genital mucosa is recognized as a sexually transmitted infection (STI, the source of this infection can rarely (if ever) be identified. Furthermore, almost everyone acquires an HPV infection by adulthood, unlike other known STIs.

HPV infects the aero-digestive tract, and these oral and oral-pharyngeal HPV infections have been frequently ascribed to oral sex. However, these infections are also found in infants and young children, and thus, sexual abuse as a potential mode of transmission has been discussed in this context. Contradictory to all other anatomic sites, HPV infection of the larynx in infants and young children causing recurrent juvenile respiratory papillomas (JoRRP) is a consequence of maternal infection.

In order to prevent HPV infection, it is essential to know how and when the first HPV infection is acquired. This applies to infection with both mucosal low-risk and high-risk HPV types, as well as infections with the skin HPV types. The first HPV infection can be vertical. Vertical transmission has different modes, such as peri-conceptual transmission during fertilization or thereupon, prenatal transmission in utero during pregnancy, as well as perinatal transmission during vaginal delivery. After birth, horizontal HPV transmission is possible during nursing, between family members or in daycares and school. Maternal passive immunization as well as innate and adaptive immunity of children are of importance in understanding the outcome of HPV infections, irrespective of whether acquired vertically or later in life.

The consequences of maternal infections (even the subclinical ones) during pregnancy can be multiple and fatal or significantly harmful for the developing fetus, resulting in perinatal complications and/or chronic disease throughout postnatal life. On the other hand, early viral replication may lead to the development of HPV immunity at an early age, which may be central to combating future HPV infections, e.g., STIs.

This Special Issue aims to cover research relating to the frequency and modes of vertical transmission of both mucosal and cutaneous HPV genotypes. It will also focus on the role of passive immunization via mother, the development of HPV-specific immune response at early ages and its impact on clearing early HPV infections. We invite you to share your recent findings or perspectives on vertical transmission of papillomaviruses in human and also in animal species.

Prof. Dr. Stina Syrjänen
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 468 KiB  
Article
Association between the Mode of Delivery and Vertical Transmission of Human Papillomavirus
by Émilie Nantel, Marie-Hélène Mayrand, François Audibert, Joseph Niyibizi, Paul Brassard, Louise Laporte, Julie Lacaille, Monica Zahreddine, William Fraser, Diane Francoeur, Marie-Josée Bédard, Isabelle Girard, Jacques Lacroix, Ana Maria Carceller, François Coutlée and Helen Trottier
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020303 - 16 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can be vertically transmitted. Our objective was to measure the association between the mode of delivery and the detection of HPV in infants. We used data collected from pregnant women during the HERITAGE study. Self-collected vaginal samples from the first [...] Read more.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can be vertically transmitted. Our objective was to measure the association between the mode of delivery and the detection of HPV in infants. We used data collected from pregnant women during the HERITAGE study. Self-collected vaginal samples from the first and third trimester were obtained for HPV testing. Specimens from oral, pharyngeal, conjunctival and anogenital mucosa were collected from infants 36–48 h after delivery and at 3 months of age. All samples were tested for HPV DNA by the Linear Array assay. Adjusted odd ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using multivariate logistic regressions. From the 282 women revealed to be HPV-positive in both the first and third trimesters, 25 infants were born HPV-positive. The overall probability of transmission was 8.9% (25/282); 3.7% (3/81) in participants with a caesarean section and 10.9% (22/201) for those who delivered vaginally. Vaginal delivery increased the risk of HPV in infants compared to caesarean (aOR: 3.63, 95%CI: 1.03–12.82). Infants born after a caesarean with ruptured membranes were not at increased risk of HPV compared to infants born after an elective caesarean section with intact membranes (aOR: 1.31, 95%CI: 0.10–17.76). Our results support the hypothesis that transmission occurs mostly during the passage in the vaginal canal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vertical Transmission of Human Papillomavirus Infections)
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13 pages, 884 KiB  
Article
Association between Human Papillomavirus 16 Viral Load in Pregnancy and Preterm Birth
by Pranamika Khayargoli, Marie-Hélène Mayrand, Joseph Niyibizi, François Audibert, Louise Laporte, Julie Lacaille, Ana Maria Carceller, Jacques Lacroix, Émilie Comète, François Coutlée and Helen Trottier
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020298 - 15 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Recent evidence shows increased preterm birth risk with human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection during pregnancy. This study aimed to measure the association between HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth. We used data from participants in the HERITAGE study. The Linear Array assay [...] Read more.
Recent evidence shows increased preterm birth risk with human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection during pregnancy. This study aimed to measure the association between HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth. We used data from participants in the HERITAGE study. The Linear Array assay was used for HPV DNA testing on vaginal samples collected during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. The HPV16 viral load was measured with a real-time polymerase chain reaction. We used logistic regression to measure the associations between HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth (defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation). The adjusted odd ratios (aORs) and the 95% confidence intervals [CIs] were estimated with inverse probability treatment weighting of the propensity score. This study included 48 participants who tested positive for HPV16 during the first trimester of pregnancy. The aOR for the association between first-trimester HPV16 viral load (higher viral load categorized with a cutoff of 0.5 copy/cell) was 13.04 [95% CI: 1.58–107.57]). Similar associations were found using different cutoffs for the categorization of viral load during the first and third trimesters. Our findings suggest a strong association between a high HPV16 viral load during pregnancy and preterm birth, demonstrating a biological gradient that reinforces the biological plausibility of a causal association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vertical Transmission of Human Papillomavirus Infections)
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