Human papillomavirus infections: New perspectives for prevention and treatment

Stefano Menzo, Katia Marinelli, Patrizia Bagnarelli, Serena Rolla, Massimo Clementi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have been recognized as the main etiologic agent of cervical cancer and other anogenital neoplasms, and a leading cause of death from cancer worldwide. In the last twenty years, extensive research has contributed to document the molecular mechanisms of virus persistence and malignant transformation, confirming a direct role of viral proteins in these processes. A clear understanding of the molecular epidemiology of HPVs and the availability of powerful molecular diagnostic techniques have provided the background for prevention strategies of HPV-related carcinomas. Since these viruses are highly prevalent in the general population, strict screening programs are still necessary. Recently, major breakthroughs have emerged from immunological studies. Indeed, these studies have paved the way for medical treatment of HPV infections and provided the first highly effective preventive vaccines. For these principal reasons, the time has come for a great effort towards the eradication of these important human pathogens. The present review summarizes the main aspects of the virology, molecular epidemiology and molecular biology of HPV infection and highlights the recent perspectives of prevention and treatment of the HPV-related disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-212
Number of pages25
JournalNew Microbiologica
Volume30
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Cervical cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Epidemiology
  • High-risk HPVs
  • Human papillomaviruses
  • Molecular mechanisms
  • Prevention
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

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