Distribution of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes in Sardinian Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Caterina Montaldo*, Andrea Mastinu, Stefania Zorco, Noemi Santini, Elisabetta Pisano, Vincenzo Piras, Gloria Denotti, Carla Peluffo, Matteo Erriu, Valentino Garau, Germano Orrù
Surgery Department of Odontostomatological Sciences, Odontostomatology Section, O.B.L., University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

© Montaldo et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Surgery Department of Odontostomatological Sciences, Odontostomatology Section, O.B.L., University of Cagliari, Via Binaghi n°4, 09121 Cagliari, Italy; Tel: 0039 070.537417; Fax: 0039 070.537437; E-mail:


Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) seem to play an important role in the pathogenesis of gynecological carcinomas and in head and neck carcinomas. The aim of this study was to detect and genotype HPVs in fresh oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) from a Sardinian population, and to determine whether HPV presence was significantly associated with the development of OSCC.

The oral mucosa tissues were obtained from 120 samples (68 OSCC and 52 control samples) taken from a Sardinian population seen at the Dental Clinic of the Department of Surgery and Odontostomatological Sciences, University of Cagliari (Italy) and the “ Ospedale SS Trinità”, Cagliari (A.S.L. 8) between 2007 and 2008. PCR was used for the detection of HPV DNA and the genotype was determined by DNA sequencing. The frequency of HPV infection was evaluated in relation to age, sex, smoking and alcohol use. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS 11.5 software.

The results showed the presence of HPV-DNA in 60.3% of OSCC with HPV-16 (51.2%) being the most frequent genotype. In these Sardinian OSCC patients, HPV-DNA was detected more in males (65.8%) than in females (34.1%) while controls show a 0% of HPV presence. HPV positive was highly associated with OSCC among subjects with a history of heavy tobacco and alcohol use and among those with no such history.

A greater frequency of high risk HPV presence was observed in patients with OSCC compared to health control patients. In addition these results suggested that oral HPV presence could be associated in OSCC subjects. Our results need more analyses to detect the HPV-DNA integration into tumoral cells.

Keywords: HPV, oral squamous cell carcinoma, seminested PCR, Sardinian patients..