Prevalence of HPV infection among clinically healthy Italian males and genotype concordance between stable sexual partners

J Clin Virol. 2014 Jul;60(3):264-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2014.04.003. Epub 2014 Apr 15.


Background: HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. However little is known about its prevalence in the male population and concordance with female partners.

Objectives: This cross-sectional study aimed to: (a) investigate HPV prevalence and genotype distribution among a series of stable male sexual partners of CIN/HPV positive women and (b) assess HPV infection and type-specific concordance between partners.

Study design: 378 stable and monogamous male partners of CIN/HPV positive women were selected. Of these, 238 cases were enrolled at the same time as their female partner. All the subjects were tested by the Linear Array HPV genotyping assay.

Results: Overall, 153/378 men (40.5%) and 122/238 women (51.3%) were positive for at least one of the 37 HPV types detectable by the assay used. Among the HPV-positive participants, 69 of the 378 men (18.2%) and 54 of the 238 women (22.7%) harboured multiple genotypes. 75 couples (31.5%) were concordantly HPV positive, while 102 couples (42.9%) were concordantly negative (Kappa value: 0.491, p<0.0001). Among the couples in which both partners were HPV positive, 68% harboured at least one genotype in common. Results from a GEE model evidenced that when the male partner tested HPV positive for at least one genotype, this had a significant effect on the positivity of their relative female partner (p<0.0001).

Conclusions: We evidenced a high prevalence of HPV male infections and a moderate concordance between partners. However, we observed a significant HPV type-specific correlation between partners, which is unlikely to be coincidental.

Keywords: HPV concordance; HPV transmission; Human papillomavirus; Male infection; Sexually transmitted disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alphapapillomavirus / genetics*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA, Viral
  • Female
  • Genotype*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral