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Most epidemiological studies of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections rely on HPV DNA detection. Recent studies have reported very high prevalence and acquisition rates in men.1 However, presence of HPV DNA is not proof of infection, as it might represent environmental contamination.
Studies of HPV DNA on environmental surfaces could provide insights of the possible magnitude of this problem. We studied surfaces that frequently contact anogenital skin: toilet seats in airport restrooms. Apparently clean seats in 23 airports located in 13 countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, the Netherlands, Russia, …