Human papillomavirus type 16 DNA in ocular and cervical swabs of women with genital tract condylomata

Am J Ophthalmol. 1991 Jul 15;112(1):61-6. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)76214-2.


Human papillomavirus type 16 is associated with dysplasias and carcinomas of the conjunctiva and of the uterine cervix. To explore the relationship between cervical and ocular human papillomavirus infection, we examined DNA from bilateral limbal swabs and cervical swabs from 17 women (age range, 17 to 46 years; median, 31.7 years) with biopsy-proven human papillomavirus-related cervical dysplasia who had a normal ocular surface. Using polymerase chain reaction, we identified human papillomavirus 16 DNA in one or both eyes of 13 (76.5%) patients, six (46.2%) of whom had demonstrable human papillomavirus 16 DNA in cervical swabs as well. It thus appears that human papillomavirus 16 is present in the conjunctivae of some patients with human papillomavirus-related genital warts who have no ocular manifestations of infection. Although autoinoculation of conjunctiva may be the source of some ocular human papillomavirus, data suggest that other modes of transmission to the eye also exist. Additional study of the epidemiologic characteristics of ocular human papillomavirus, a widely prevalent virus known to be associated with dysplasias/atypias and cancer, is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Condylomata Acuminata / microbiology*
  • Conjunctiva / microbiology*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Vaginal Smears


  • DNA, Viral