Content » Vol 96, Issue 4

Investigative Report

Anogenital Human Papillomavirus Prevalence is Unaffected by Therapeutic Tumour Necrosis Factor-alpha Inhibition

Alessandra Handisurya, Stefanie Lázár, Pavol Papay, Christian Primas, Andrea Haitel, Reinhard Horvat, Adrian Tanew, Harald Vogelsang, Reinhard Kirnbauer
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2298


Patients receiving tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors are at increased risk of exacerbation of (myco-)bacterial and some viral infections. However, information on anogenital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in these patients is sparse or conflicting. In this study 222 patients with psoriasis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who received either anti-TNF-α inhibitors or alternatives (purine-, folic acid analogues, phototherapy, fumaric ester, mesalazine) continuously for at least 6 months, were evaluated for the presence of anogenital HPV-induced lesions, mucosal HPV DNA, and serological status of mucosal low-risk HPV6 and high-risk HPV16/HPV18. Hallmarks of anogenital HPV infection were more frequently detected in patients with psoriasis than in those with IBD. HPV-induced lesions, viral DNA, and seroprevalence were not elevated in participants with psoriasis or IBD, who received TNF-α inhibitors for a mean duration of 31.4 months (range 6–96 months) compared with recipients of alternative or no treatment. TNF-α blockade for a mean period of 31.4 months does not increase detectable anogenital HPV infection or disease.


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