The natural history of cervical HPV infection: unresolved issues

Nat Rev Cancer. 2007 Jan;7(1):11-22. doi: 10.1038/nrc2050.


The identification of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types as a necessary cause of cervical cancer offers the prospect of effective primary prevention and the possibility of improving the efficiency of cervical screening programmes. However, for these opportunities to be realized, a more complete understanding of the natural history of HPV infection, and its relationship to the development of epithelial abnormalities of the cervix, is required. We discuss areas of uncertainty, and their possible effect on disease prevention strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / virology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Papillomaviridae / metabolism*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / genetics*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*
  • Viral Load
  • Virus Integration