Viral DNA load and physical status might be predictive of either high-grade cervical lesions or disease progression among women infected by human papillomavirus (HPV) 16, but these virological markers have rarely been studied in HPV 18 infections. The relationships between HPV 18 DNA load, viral genome physical status and cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions were analyzed among female sex workers infected with HPV18 in Burkina Faso. HPV 18 E2 and E6 genes were quantitated by real-time PCR. Among 21 women infected with HPV 18, 67% of whom were HIV-1-seropositive, 11 (52.4%) had a normal cytology, 8 (38.1%) had low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, and 2 (9.5%) had high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. Total viral load and integrated viral load were higher in women with squamous intraepithelial lesions than in women with normal cytology (P = 0.01 for both parameters). Total viral load and integrated viral load were higher in HIV-1-seropositive women than in those who were not infected with HIV (P = 0.01, and P, 0.01, respectively). Total viral load or integrated viral load >1000 copies/ng of DNA were more frequent in women with squamous intraepithelial lesions than in women with normal cytology (7/10 vs. 1/11; P = 0.007) and in HIV-1-seropositive women (8/14 vs. 0/7 in HIV-uninfected women; P = 0.02). Both HPV 18 DNA and integrated DNA loads might represent markers of cervical lesions. Prospective evaluations are needed to establish the value of these parameters to predict high-grade lesion or lesion progression.
Damay, A.; Didelot-Rousseau, M.N.; Costes, V.; Konate, I.; Ouedraogo, A.; Nagot, N.; Foulongne, V.; Mayaud, P.; Segondy, M.; van de Perre, P. Viral load and physical status of human papillomavirus (HPV) 18 in cervical samples from female sex workers infected with HPV 18 in Burkina Faso. Journal of Medical Virology (2009) 81 (10) 1786-1791. [DOI: 10.1002/jmv.21554]