Detection of human papillomavirus DNA in biopsies of human oral tissue

Br J Cancer. 1987 Sep;56(3):245-50. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1987.185.


We have employed molecular probes produced from DNA fragments of human papillomavirus, cloned into prokaryotic vectors, to detect virus nucleic acid sequences in extracts of human oral tissues. The study was conducted with duplicate coded snap-frozen tissue biopsies from which frozen sections had been taken to accurately assess the pathology of each particular sample. The results show that a large proportion of the oral biopsies contained DNA which hybridized to the viral DNA probes, even under conditions of high stringency. The presence of virus did not correlate with neoplasia in the tissues examined, but HPV like sequences were found in a high proportion (80%) of biopsies taken from areas of keratosis and lichen planus and also in 41 to 46% of normal and tumour tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / microbiology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / analysis
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus / microbiology
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Mouth Diseases / microbiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Deoxyribonucleotides