There are 170 established HPV types. Cancerous human papillomavirus (HPV) viruses are the main cause of cervical cancer, and are found in close to 100% of cervical tumors.
Cervical cancer and genital warts are caused by HPV. However, testing for the virus using standard techniques can sometimes give a negative result -- in these cases, the condylomas are called 'virus-negative' warts.
In a new study published in Virology, researchers assessed the DNA found in samples taken from 40 patients with 'virus-negative' genital warts. Through a general DNA sequencing approach, the researchers showed that several of the negative samples did in fact contain HPV DNA.
This means that virus-negative warts can harbor small amounts of more distantly related viruses that escaped previous detection. According to the research, there is a diverse pool of previously unknown HPV types that infect humans and are detectable on genital warts.
The findings have implications for the knowledge of diversity of HPV types, as these viruses are currently undetectable using traditional testing methods.
Ten pools of four samples taken from virus-negative warts were tested using genetic material straight from the patient -- including viral, bacterial and human DNA. Five of the pools contained HPV, and three of these contained new strains of the virus.
Altogether, 1337 pieces of HPV-related DNA were detected, representing 23 new types of HPV, 10 established types of HPV and two known HPV DNA sequences.
This new style of testing has highlighted previously unknown forms of the virus. As such, we learn more about the evolution of different HPV types. It is possible that the previously unknown forms of the virus do not cause condyloma but may be secondary invaders of condyloma.
Notes for editors
This article is "Metagenomic sequencing of "HPV-negative" condylomas detects novel putative HPV types" by Hanna Johansson, Davit Bzhalava, Johanna Ekström, Emilie Hultin, Joakim Dillner, and Ola Forslund (DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2013.01.023) and appears in Virology published by Elsevier.
The article is available to credentialed journalists at no charge through free access to ScienceDirect, the world's largest repository of scientific information. Please use your ScienceDirect media login and password to access the full text research paper. For a new media login, forgotten password or if you have any specific questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a credentialed journalist and are interested in receiving other research alerts from Elsevier, please sign up for Elsevier's Research Selection (ERS) - an email developed by the Elsevier Newsroom which highlights new, interesting, interesting or otherwise intriguing research articles for health and science media. The full text research articles included are peer reviewed and have been publicly available for no more than 4-6 weeks (they are usually articles-in-press). They have not been press-released nor covered in the media (that we are aware of) and they are not embargoed.
If you would like to sign up for the ERS please send an email to email@example.com
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect, SciVerse Scopus, Reaxys, MD Consult and Nursing Consult, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai's Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.
A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).