OBJECTIVES--To determine the prevalence of urethral HPV infection, as indicated by the presence of HPV DNA in semen, in males with and without penile warts. DESIGN--Prevalence study of HPV types 6/11 and 16 DNA using PCR and Southern blot hybridisation analysis of semen. SETTING--Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Blundell Street Clinic, Leeds General Infirmary and the Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) Kings' College, London. SUBJECTS--Patients attending the Genitourinary Clinic for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases including penile warts and males attending Kings' ACU for investigations of infertility. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--HPV DNA detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or Southern blot hybridisation in semen. RESULTS--HPV DNA was detected by PCR in 23 of 27 (85%) specimens from patients attending the GUM clinic for treatment of genital warts and in one of two specimens from patients attending the clinic for other conditions. By Southern blot, nine (33%) of the 29 specimens from GUM clinic patients were HPV DNA-positive. HPV DNA was detected by PCR in 43 of 104 (41%) of specimens from males attending the ACU, whilst 70 of these tested by Southern blot hybridisation were all negative for HPV DNA. CONCLUSIONS--The data suggest that urethral HPV infections, as indicated by the presence of HPV DNA in semen, are prevalent in males with and without genital warts.
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