Occurrence of human papillomavirus in pterygia

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ABSTRACT.Purpose:The aim of the study was to assess the occurrence of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in pterygium.Methods:The study involved 89 patients undergoing surgical procedures at the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland. Group 1 included 58 patients with clinically diagnosed pterygium. Group 2 consisted of 31 individuals with normal conjunctiva. The material was collected during elective surgical procedures. The presence of HPV genome was determined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Once the presence of HPV DNA was confirmed, 28 HPV genotypes were determined using reverse hybridization.Results:The determinations confirmed the presence of HPV DNA in pterygium. In the material collected from 58 cases of pterygium (group 1), HPV DNA was identified in 16 patients (27.6%). In the material from 31 diagnostic specimens of normal conjunctiva (group 2), the presence of HPV was demonstrated in three cases (9.7%). A statistically significant difference was found in the presence of HPV DNA between the patients from groups 1 and 2 (p = 0.041). HPV type 16 was most common and was demonstrated in 56% of HPV-positive cases of pterygium. HPV 16 and HPV 6 co-infections were found in 19% of cases, while HPV 18 and HPV 6 co-infections were observed in 13%. In group 2, all three patients with HPV showed HPV 18.Conclusion:It seems that HPV is not necessary to induce pterygium; however, it might play a synergistic role in the multi-stage process of its development.

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