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Identification of human papillomavirus in oral rinse specimens from women with and without cervical intraepithelial lesions
  1. Isabela Nemesio1,
  2. Fernanda Cury2,
  3. Adhemar Longatto-Filho1,3,
  4. José Humberto Fregnani4,5,
  5. Laura Musselwhite6,
  6. Fabiana Vazquez1,
  7. Ana Carolina Peters1,
  8. Cristina Oliveira1,3
  1. 1 Molecular Oncology Research Center, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos, Brazil
  2. 2 Center for Research Support, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos, Brazil
  3. 3 Institute of Life and Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
  4. 4 Teaching and Research Institute, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos, Brazil
  5. 5 Teaching and Learning Department, A.C. Camargo Cancer Center, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  6. 6 Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cristina Oliveira, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos 14784-400, Brazil; cristina.oliveira1{at}


Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate the frequency of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the oral cavity of women with and without abnormal cervical cytology and to determine whether there is an association of oral HPV infection with infection of the cervix or with cervical cancer precursor lesions.

Methods The present study was conducted among 406 women, aged 18–82 years, who attended the Prevention Department of Barretos Cancer Hospital (HCB), Brazil due to a previous altered cervical cytology result. Oral rinse, cervical cytology and biopsy were collected at the same day. The participants also answered a questionnaire about socioeconomic characteristics and risk factors for cervical cancer. Molecular screening for HPV16, HPV18 and 12 other high-risk HPV types was performed on cervical and oral rinse specimens using Cobas 4800 (Roche Molecular Systems, USA).

Results HPV was detected in the oral rinse of 3.9% of participants. Infection of the oral cavity with a non-HPV16 or 18 type was most frequent (81.2%), followed by HPV16 (18.7%). Infection with HPV in the cervix and oral cavity was present in 11 (2.7%) of participants. There were no differences observed in the smoking status (p value 0.62), mean age of first sexual intercourse (p value 0.25), mean age of the first oral sex (p value 0.90) or mean lifetime number of sexual partners (p value 0.08) between the participants with oral HPV infection or not.

Conclusion The presence of HPV infection in the oral cavity was low in the group of women with abnormal cervical cancer screening findings and a high rate of cervical HPV infection.

  • HPV
  • oral cavity
  • cervical neoplasia

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  • Handling editor Jason J Ong

  • Correction notice The article has been corrected since it was published online first. In table 1, the incorrect term 'Other 12 HR' has been amended to 'Other 12 HPV High Risk types'.

  • Contributors IN: data curation, investigation, methodology, writing – original draft, and writing – review and editing. FC: methodology and writing – review and editing. AL-F: conceptualisation, investigation and writing – review and editing. JHF: conceptualisation, investigation and writing – review and editing. LM: conceptualisation, investigation, project administration and writing – review and editing. FV: conceptualisation and writing – review and editing. ACP: investigation and writing – review and editing. CO: conceptualisation, data curation, formal analysis, project administration, supervision and writing – review and editing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The local Research Ethics Committee approved the study (n° 1.518.801).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article