Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in upper respiratory tract mucosa in a group of pre-school children
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Pediatric ENT Department, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Pediatric Radiology Department, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Department of Physiology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Department of Allergology and Environmental Hazards, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2014;21(4):822–824
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of DNA viruses which is an etiological factor of many benign and malignant diseases of the upper respiratory tract mucosa, female genital tract and the skin. HPV infection is considered a sexually-transmitted infection, but can also be transmitted by non-sexual routes, including perinatal vertical transmission, physical contact, iatrogenic infection and autoinoculation. Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP) in children is connected with HPV infection transmitted vertically from mother to child during the passage of the foetus through an infected birth canal.

The aim of this study was to establish the level of Human Papillomaviruses carrier state in upper respiratory tract mucosa in healthy pre-school children, and to identify potential risk factors for HPV infection.

Material and Methods:
After obtaining consent from their parents, 97 pre-school children were examined – 51 girls and 46 boys between the ages of 3 – 5 years; average age – 4 years and 5 months. 68 children were urban dwellers and 29 came from a rural environment. A questionnaire with detailed history was taken including parents’ and child`s personal data, as well as perinatal risk factors in pregnancy. Socio-demographic information was also obtained, including the standard of living, and chosen environmental factors. Routine ENT examination was performed. Exfoliated oral squamous cells were collected from swabs and analysed for the presence of DNA papillomaviruses by polymerase chain reaction.

The presence of HPV in the respiratory tract in children was detected in 19.6% cases. ‘High oncogenic potential’ HPVs, such as HPV-16 and HPV-18, were not observed in squamous cell mucosa of the respiratory tract in the children. No significant differences were observed between the HPV carrier state in urban and rural inhabitants.

Wioletta Żukiewicz-Sobczak   
Department of Allergology and Environmental Hazards, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
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