Human Papilloma Virus Infection


Human papillomavirus infection (HPV infection) is an infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a DNA virus from the Papillomaviridae family. Many HPV infections cause no symptoms and 90% resolve spontaneously within two years. However, in some cases, an HPV infection persists and results in either warts or precancerous lesions. These lesions, depending on the site affected, increase the risk of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, tonsils, or throat. Nearly all cervical cancer is due to HPV; two strains, HPV16 and HPV18, account for 70% of cases. HPV16 is responsible for almost 90% of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers. Between 60% and 90% of the other cancers listed above are also linked to HPV. HPV6 and HPV11 are common causes of genital warts and laryngeal papillomatosis.

An HPV infection is caused by human papillomavirus, a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family. Over 170 types have been described. More than 40 types may be spread through sexual contact and infect the anus and genitals. Risk factors for persistent infection by sexually transmitted types include early age of first sexual intercourse, multiple sexual partners, smoking, and poor immune function. These types are typically spread by sustained direct skin-to-skin contact, with vaginal and anal sex being the most common methods. Also, HPV infection can spread from a mother to baby during pregnancy. There is no evidence that HPV can spread via common items like toilet seats, but the types that cause warts may spread via surfaces such as floors. It has been found that patients with active genital HPV have shown to have HPV DNA on their fingertips. In addition, HPV is not killed by common hand sanitizers and disinfectants, so increasing the possibility of the virus being transferred via fomites. An individual can become infected with more than one type of HPV. HPV is only known to affect humans.

HPV vaccines can prevent the most common types of infection. To be most effective, inoculation should occur before the onset of sexual activity, and are therefore recommended between the ages of 9–13 years. Cervical cancer screening, such as the Papanicolaou test ("pap smear"), or examination of the cervix after applying acetic acid, can detect both early cancer and abnormal cells that may develop into cancer. Screening allows for early treatment which results in better outcomes. Screening has reduced both the number of cases and the number of deaths from cervical cancer. Genital warts can be removed by freezing.

Journal of Surgical Pathology and Diagnosis is a peer-reviewed medical journal published by Oxford University Press covering research on the pathogenesis, clinical investigation, medical microbiology, diagnosis, immune mechanisms, and treatment of diseases.

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Best Regards

Eliza Grace

Journal Manager

Journal of Surgical Pathology and Diagnosis