Next-generation sequencing analysis for detecting human papillomavirus in oral verrucous carcinoma

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The etiology of oral verrucous carcinoma is unknown, and human papillomavirus ‘involvement’ remains contentious. The uncertainty can be attributed to varied detection procedures and difficulties in defining ‘gold-standard’ histologic criteria for diagnosing ‘verrucous’ lesions. Their paucity also hampers investigation. We aimed to analyze oral verrucous lesions for human papillomavirus (HPV) subtype genomes.

Study Design.

We used next-generation sequencing for the detection of papillomavirus sequences, identifying subtypes and computing viral loads. We identified a total of 78 oral verrucous cases (62 carcinomas and 16 hyperplasias). DNA was extracted from all and sequenced at a coverage between 2.5% and 13%.


An HPV-16 sequence was detected in 1 carcinoma and 1 hyperplasia, and an HPV-2 sequence was detected in 1 carcinoma out of the 78 cases, with viral loads of 2.24, 8.16, and 0.33 viral genomes per cell, respectively.


Our results indicate no conclusive human papillomavirus involvement in oral verrucous carcinoma or hyperplasia.

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