Seropositivity of HPV 16 E6 and E7 and the risk of oral cancer

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OBJECTIVES:The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of HPV seropositivity among patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and healthy individuals and to correlate the association between HPV 16 seropositivity and risk of OSCC.MATERIALS AND METHODS:HPV 16 E6 and E7 plasmids were constructed for the production of recombinant protein, which was used as the antigen in ELISA. HPV ELISA was performed on serum samples from 50 healthy individuals and 50 patients with OSCC.RESULTS:Using the HPV ELISA, 30% (OR = 2.25, 95% CI = 0.85–5.93) and 18% (OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 0.53–4.92) of patients with oral cancer were found to be HPV 16 E6 and E7 seropositive, respectively. Significant association was found between HPV 16 seropositivity and increased risk of OSCC in men, but not in male subjects. A similar trend was observed in non-betel quid chewers.CONCLUSIONS:Potential associations between HPV 16 E6/E7 seropositivity and oral cancer were revealed in men and non-betel quid chewer subjects, suggesting a possible etiological role of HPV 16 in subgroup of patients with OSCC in Malaysia.

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