A case-control study of betapapillomavirus infection and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in organ transplant recipients

Am J Transplant. 2011 Jul;11(7):1498-508. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03589.x.


We examined the association between betapapillomavirus (betaPV) infection and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in organ transplant recipients. A total of 210 organ transplant recipients with previous SCC and 394 controls without skin cancer were included. The presence of 25 betaPV types in plucked eyebrow hairs was determined using a human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA genotyping assay, and antibodies for the 15 most prevalent betaPV types were detected using multiplex serology. We used multivariate logistic regression models to estimate associations between various measures of betaPV infection and SCC. BetaPV DNA was highly prevalent (>94%) with multiple types frequently detected in both groups. We found a significant association between SCC and the concordant detection of both antibodies and DNA for at least one betaPV type (adjusted OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.1;2.5). A borderline-significant association with SCC was found for HPV36 (adjusted OR 2.4; CI 1.0;5.4), with similar associations for HPV5, HPV9 and HPV24. These data provide further evidence of an association between betaPV infection and SCC in organ transplant recipients. Confirmation of a betaPV profile predictive of risk for SCC may pave the way for clinically relevant pretransplant HPV screening and the development of preventive and therapeutic HPV vaccination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Betapapillomavirus / genetics*
  • Betapapillomavirus / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Eyebrows / virology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Prevalence
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / virology
  • Transplants / adverse effects*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • DNA, Viral