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Original Article

J Pak Dent Assoc. 2020; 29(4): 228-234

Frequency of HPV-16 in saliva and blood in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in Pakistani population

Saima Saher,Sofia Ali Syed,Asifa Iqbal,Faryal Ali Syed,Faiza Amin,Aneesa Sultan,Mariam Anees.


Pakistan is geographically located in the region where prevalence of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is high. Human papilloma virus (HPV) subtype-16 plays significant role in heterogeneity of HNSCC. The study aims to evaluate the frequency of HPV-16 in both blood and saliva in HNSCC in our population and its association with clinicopathological features.
A total of 200 samples comprising 100 blood and 100 saliva samples were collected. Hundred samples (saliva; n=50, blood; n=50) were collected from histopathologically confirmed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients and 100 samples (saliva; n=50 saliva, blood; n=50) were collected from healthy individuals without a history of cancer as controls. HPV-16 was detected using conventional polymerase chain reaction and gel-electrophoresis. The frequency and distribution of clinicopathological variables were calculated in percentages. Chi-square test was used to analyze the association of HPV-16 positivity with clinicopathological variables.
Of 100 samples from HNSCC patients, 11 (11%) samples were positive for HPV-16. Of 11 HPV-16 positive samples, 8 (16%) were detected in saliva and 3 (6%) were detected in plasma. Of 100 samples from control group, both blood and saliva samples were negative for HPV-16. No statistically significant association was found between HPV-16 in saliva and blood and clinicopathological characteristics (P > 0.05).
Within the limit of current study, HPV-16 has a low-frequency in saliva and blood in HNSCC in our population. Further studies on HNSCC with large sample and HPV-subtypes are suggested.

Key words: Blood; human papilloma virus; saliva; squamous cell carcinoma.

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