Human papillomavirus genital infection in modern gynecology: Genetic and genomic aspects

Andrea Tinelli, Daniele Vergara, Giuseppe Leo, Antonio Malvasi, Sergio Casciaro, Elisa Leo, Maria Rosa Montinari, Michele Maffia, Santo Marsigliante, Vito Lorusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HPV (human papillomavirus) is a virus responsible for many female and male genital tract diseases. It is a small nonenveloped virus with icosahedral symmetry that contains a double-stranded DNA genomes of approximately 7,900 bp. Approximately 200 different HPVs have been characterized, classified in mucosal and cutaneous viruses, responsible for a wide spectrum of clinical conditions, from simple feet and hands warts to genital cancer. Their genome is functionally distinct in three regions. The condition of the host immune system is one of the factors that can strongly influence the natural history of HPV infection. The primary response to viral infection is cell-mediated, so conditions that compromise the immune system increase the viral infection risk. The molecular mechanisms involved in the onset of the cervical carcinoma are well defined, and they are mainly associated to the ability of the proteins E6 and E7 to neutralize the activity of p53 and retinoblastoma protein, respectively. The infection of HPV is mainly diagnosed through molecular methods. Several assays have been developed for the simultaneous identification of HPV types, the majority of which are polymerase chain reaction-based assays. Side by side with these assays, the emerging technology of the DNA chip may offer a reliable diagnostic tool for discriminating easily between many HPV genotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Clinics in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Cervical carcinoma
  • Genital cancer
  • Genital infections
  • Human papilloma virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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