OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the mucosal immune response in women affected by primary human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, in comparison with HPV-negative women with no previous history of HPV. METHODS: A case–control study comparing the activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and lactoferrin (LF) between 19 HPV-positive and 19 HPV-negative women matched for age. Plasmatic and cervicovaginal levels of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) exhibiting MPO and LF receptors were measured using cytofluorimetric analysis and expressed as mean of percentages. RESULTS: Cervicovaginal levels of MPO-/LF- PMN were lower among HPV-negative women, with a mean rate of 18.81% (SD, 21.38), as opposed to a mean rate of 35.56% (SD, 21.02) (P = 0.020) in HPV-positive women. A similar significant difference was not proven in plasma. The mean rates of plasmatic levels of MPO-/LF- PMN were 36.21% (SD, 16.87) and 36.93% (SD, 10.54) (P = 0.875) in cases and controls, respectively. All patients were evaluated 1 year later, and only 6 cases became negative. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of MPO-/LF- PMN has been considered as a marker of lower rate of apoptosis of HPV-infected cells. This could explain why HPV-positive women are less capable to deal with a primary infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology