Aims The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the presence of human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A), HHV-6B and HHV-7 in samples of the uterine cervix through detection of viral DNA. We analysed normal tissues, samples with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs). We correlated the presence of HHV-6 and HHV-7 with the finding of human papillomavirus (HPV) in mucosal samples.
Methods Cervical samples were examined and grouped as follows: group 1 (n=29), normal cytology; group 2 (n=61), samples with LSIL; group 3 (n=35), samples with HSIL. Molecular biology examinations were performed in all samples to detect HHV-6, HHV-7 and HPV DNA and to typify HHV-6 species.
Results Group 1: normal cytology and HPV (−): HHV-6: 6.8% (2/29), HHV-7: 79.3% (23/29); group 2: LSIL and HPV (−): HHV-6: 93.1% (27/29), HHV-7: 96.5% (28/29); LSIL and HPV (+): HHV-6: 0% (0/32), HHV-7: 90.6% (29/32); group 3: HSIL and HPV (−): HHV-6: 20% (2/10), HHV-7: 70% (7/10); HSIL HPV (+): HHV-6: 12% (3/25), HHV-7: 68% (17/25). HHV-6A DNA was not detected in any samples.
Conclusions (1) Both HHV-6 and HHV-7 infect the mucosal cells of the cervix with higher prevalence of HHV-7. (2) The higher prevalence of HHV-6 in LSIL HPV (−) samples compared with those with normal cytology indicates that it constitutes a possible risk factor for atypia production. (3) The presence of HHV-7 in all samples questions its role in the production of atypia. (4) The finding of HHV-6 and HHV-7 suggests that the cervical mucosa is a possible transmission pathway for these viruses.
- gynecological pathology
- human papillomavirus
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Handling editor Tony Mazzulli.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the Institutional Committee of Ethics of Health ‘Oulton Romagosa’ of Córdoba, Argentina, according to the ethical principles stated in the declaration of Helsinki.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement No data are available.