Infectious Disease

HPV in younger kids most typical at delivery

February 11, 2021

1 min read

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Disclosure:
The authors report that the study was supported by the Finnish Academy, the Finnish Cancer Foundation and the Sohlberg Foundation.

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A Finnish study of more than 300 children found that oral HPV was prevalent in nearly 23% of newborns and lasted an average of about 20 months in around 15% of children, researchers in Emerging Infectious Diseases reported.

Stina Syrjonnen, DDS, PhD, A professor emeritus and chair in the Department of Oral Pathology at the University of Turku and colleagues studied the oral scraping of 324 infants (171 girls, 153 boys) at birth after 3 days of life, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, 12 months , 24 months, 36 months and then after 6 years.

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The researchers reported that the prevalence of oral HPV was highest at birth – 22.8% – but that “positivity at birth or later was not related to type of delivery.” The prevalence fell to a low of 8.7% at the 3-year visit, with only four genotypes identified – HPV16, HPV18, HPV6, and HPV11 – and then increased to 20.4% at the 6-year visit, with eight Genotypes have been identified. Overall, 41.4% (135 of 329) children remained negative for all oral HPV samples.

The researchers identified 18 different HPV genotypes in the participants, with HPV16 being the most common, followed by HPV18, HPV6, HPV33, and HPV31 – all high-risk types with the exception of HPV6. The genotype distribution was broadest at birth with 15 different types and the incidence of infections with multiple types was highest at 3.7%.

The authors reported that high-risk HPV seropositivity was associated with high-risk oral HPV incidence for fathers and clearance for children, while oral carriage for mothers and high-risk HPV seroconversion were associated with high-risk HPV for children was. OR for oral delivery 1.92 (95% CI, 1.35-2.74); and for high risk HPV seroconversion 1.60 (95% CI, 1.02-2.50).

“Our study strongly supports the hypothesis that HPV can be vertically transmitted and cause true infection of the oral mucosa in the newborn,” the authors wrote. “Some of these oral HPV infections acquired at birth can persist for years without major clinical lesions.”

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