Polymorphism in the promoter region of the Toll-like receptor 9 gene and cervical human papillomavirus infection

J Gen Virol. 2013 Aug;94(Pt 8):1858-1864. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.052811-0. Epub 2013 May 15.


Polymorphism in the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 gene has been shown to have a significant role in some diseases; however, little is known about its possible role in the natural history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. We investigated the association between a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (rs5743836) in the promoter region of TLR9 (T1237C) and type-specific HPV infections. Specimens were derived from a cohort of 2462 women enrolled in the Ludwig-McGill Cohort Study. We randomly selected 500 women who had a cervical HPV infection detected at least once during the study as cases. We defined two control groups: (i) a random sample of 300 women who always tested HPV negative, and (ii) a sample of 234 women who were always HPV negative but had a minimum of ten visits during the study. TLR9 genotyping was performed using bidirectional PCR amplification of specific alleles. Irrespective of group, the WT homozygous TLR9 genotype (TT) was the most common form, followed by the heterozygous (TC) and the mutant homozygous (CC) forms. There were no consistent associations between polymorphism and infection risk, either overall or by type or species. Likewise, there were no consistently significant associations between polymorphism and HPV clearance or persistence. We concluded that this polymorphism in the promoter region of TLR9 gene does not seem to have a mediating role in the natural history of the HPV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 9 / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • TLR9 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 9