A risk for non-sexual transmission of human papillomavirus?

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2014 Oct;12(10):1165-70. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2014.959497.


Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are estimated to be the most common sexually transmitted virus in humans. The virus is of great interest as it is the etiological agent of cervical cancer. Sexual transmission of HPV is generally accepted, however, non-sexual transmission of the virus is often debated. Here, we review the evidence from basic research and clinical studies that show HPV can survive well outside of its host to potentially be transmitted by non-sexual means. In doing so, we hope to discover problems in current prevention practices and show a need for better disinfectants to combat the spread of HPV.

Keywords: HPV; capsid; disinfectant; transmission; virus.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Disinfectants
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Female
  • Fomites / virology
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Papillomaviridae / pathogenicity
  • Papillomaviridae / physiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology


  • Disinfectants