Objective: The aim of the present work was to evaluate the presence of human papillomavirus genotypes in malignant and normal mucosa of the colon and rectum in order to determine if a relationship exists between HPV infection and colon neoplasms.
Materials and methods: Thirty normal colon tissues and 54 sporadic adenocarcinomas were screened for HPV positivity using nested-PCR. Detection of viral types 6, 11, 16, 18, 33, 34 and 51 was performed by the LIS-SSCP (Low Ionic Strength-Single Strand Conformational Polymorphism) procedure.
Results: Significant differences in high risk HPV infection were found between normal samples and adenocarcinomas (P < 0.001). Among the cases, an inverse association between HPV infection and Dukes staging was also found (P = 0.020). Finally, there was no significant association between HPV and some classical clinicopathological features, although a gradient of infection form rectum to cecum was evident.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that HPV may infect the glandular mucosa of the colon and suggests a possible association between HPV and colorectal cancer.