HealthDay News — An increase in human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence after renal transplantation (RT) may result from reactivation of latent HPV infections in women, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Floor Hinten, MD, from the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues assessed the prevalence of genital HPV before and after RT in 65 female patients. Gynecological examination was performed at first visit, as well as 1 and 2 years later. Every 3 months, HPV self-sampling and questionnaires on sexual behavior were performed.

The researchers found that high-risk HPV (hrHPV) increased significantly from 19% before RT to 31% after RT (P = 0.045) with the highly sensitive SPF10-LiPA25 test and increased from 10% before to 14% after RT (P = 0.31) with the Cobas 4800 HPV test. No changes in sexual behavior were reported during follow-up. Among 33 patients who were counseled, but did not undergo RT, the hrHPV prevalence was 21% at study entry and 27% after 12 months using the sensitive test; prevalence held stable at 16% with the clinically validated Cobas test.

“The results of this study indicate that activation of latent HPV infections may contribute to the increased risk of HPV-related (pre)malignant lesions in female renal transplant recipients,” the authors write.

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  1. Hinten F, Hilbrands LB, Meeuwis KA, et al. Reactivation of latent HPV infections after renal transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2016 Dec 23. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14181.