Distribution of human papillomavirus types in the anogenital tract of females and males

J Med Virol. 2010 Aug;82(8):1424-30. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21733.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in both men and women, but there are limited data comparing the prevalence of HPV infection between genders and in different anogenital sites. This cross-sectional analysis describes the distribution of HPV types in the genital tract of 3,410 consecutive females and 1,033 males undergoing voluntary screening for HPV and referred to a single institution. The relationship between specific HPV types and the presence of anogenital lesions was examined. In both females and males, the overall prevalence of HPV infection was about 40%. A wide variety of HPV types was identified, but the prevalence of different types was remarkably similar in the two genders, even when considering different anatomical sites. HPV-6 was the most frequent (prevalence 13%) type in all anogenital sites in men followed by HPV-16 (7%), while HPV-16 was the most common type in women (about 6%), either in the cervix, vagina, or vulva, followed by HPV-6. In addition to HPV-16, HPV-58, HPV-33, HPV-31, and HPV-56 were the carcinogenic types detected most commonly and were significantly associated with high-grade squamous intraepithelial cervical lesions, while HPV-53 and HPV-66 were the most common among possibly carcinogenic types. In both genders, anogenital warts were associated with HPV-6 and HPV-11 infection, and, less frequently, with other types, like HPV-54, HPV-62, and HPV-66. These results show that genital HPV infection involves numerous HPV types, which have similar distribution patterns in females and males and in different anogenital anatomical sites.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anal Canal / pathology
  • Anal Canal / virology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Genitalia / pathology
  • Genitalia / virology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / classification*
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Warts / pathology
  • Warts / virology
  • Young Adult