Identification of Episomal Human Papillomavirus and Other DNA Viruses in Cytological Anal Samples of HIV-Uninfected Men Who Have Sex with Men

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To date, there have been only few studies that investigated integration of anal Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Most of them were conducted on HIV-infected individuals and mainly analyzed samples from high-grade lesions and invasive cancer. We aimed to investigate HPV physical status in HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM) with a detectable anal HPV infection, irrespective of the presence of lesions. We also sought to explore the presence of other circular DNA viruses in the anal region. Study participants were attendees of an STI screening program, which were also screened for anal HPV infection and cytological abnormalities. HPV physical status was assessed using multiply-primed RCA. HPV16-positive samples were also analyzed using E2/E6 multiplex PCR, qRT-PCR and APOT assay. RCA and virus-specific PCR were employed to investigate the presence of other DNA viruses. Anal HPV infection was detected in 76.9% of the 230 MSM enrolled. The anal cytological reports were: 129 NILM, 37 ASC-US and 28 L-SIL (36 samples were inadequate for interpretation). HPV physical status was evaluated in the 109 anal specimens that harbored one or two different HPV genotypes. Integration was observed only in one HPV16-positive sample (0.9%), in which integrate-derived viral transcripts of type B were detected. Integration occurred in chromosome 14 q. In 22 of the 53 (41.5%) mucosal HPV-negative samples, RCA restriction results would seem to indicate the presence of circular DNA viruses. Indeed, cutaneous HPV (4 samples), MCPyV (5 samples) and TTV (4 samples) were detected. In conclusion, anal HPV integration was rarely evidenced in HIV-uninfected MSM with no or mild anal cytological abnormalities, although the integration rate may have been underestimated because of the limitations of the employed assays. Other DNA viruses were detected in the anal samples of these individuals, although the significance of this occurrence needs to be assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere72228
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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