Seroprevalence of cutaneous human papillomaviruses and the risk of external genital lesions in men: A nested case-control study

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Background A variety of cutaneous human papillomaviruses (HPV) are detectable in genital epithelial lesions in men and non-melanoma skin cancer patients. It remains unclear whether these viruses are associated causally with skin lesions. To date, no study has prospectively examined the association between cutaneous HPV seropositivity and development of external genital lesions (EGLs) in men. Objectives To examine the association between seropositivity to cutaneous HPV types and the risk of subsequent development of EGLs. Methods A nested case-control study including 163 incident EGL cases and 352 EGL-free controls in the HPV Infection in Men (HIM) Study cohort was conducted. Cases were ascertained at each of up to 10 biannual clinical visits and verified through biopsy and pathological diagnoses. EGLs were categorized as condyloma, suggestive of condyloma, penile intraepithelial neoplasia (PeIN), and other EGLs. Archived serum specimens collected at baseline were tested for antibodies against 14 cutaneous HPV types (β types (5, 8, 12, 14, 17, 22, 23, 24, 38, and 47), α type 27, γ type 4, μ type 1, and v type 41) using a GST L1-based multiplex serology assay. Socio-demographic and sexual behavior data were collected through a questionnaire. Using logistic regression, adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated Results Overall, seropositivity to ≥1 cutaneous HPV type (any-HPV) and ≥1 β types (any-β) was 58.3% and 37.5% among other EGL cases, 71.6% and 46.8% among condyloma, 66.8% and 50.0% among PeIN, and 71.9% and 38.4% among controls, respectively. Type-specific seropositivity was most common for ?-HPV 4, μ-HPV 1, and β-HPV 8. No statistically significant association was observed between any-HPV, any-β, and type-specific HPV seropositivity and subsequent development of EGLs across all pathological diagnoses. Conclusions Overall, seropositivity to cutaneous HPV was common among men; however, it appears that cutaneous HPV is not associated with the development of genital lesions in men.



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