Low Prevalence of HPV in Male Sexual Partners of HR-HPVInfected Females and Low Concordance of Viral Types inCouples in Eastern Guangdong


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of genital high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) in male sexualpartners of HR-HPV infected women and the concordance of viral types in couples in China, and comprehendthe role of men play in HPV transmission to women. Methods/Materials: 94 asymptomatic women and theirhusbands from rural Chaozhou participated in epidemiologic screening for HPV infection. Cervical cells fromfemales were collected for high risk HPV screening by real time-PCR, and they were positive for at least 1 of 13HR-HPV subtypes, then these samples were genotyped. Approximately one mouth later, penile epithelial cellsfrom 94 asymptomatic husbands were collected for HPV genotyping. At the same time, a cross-sectional studywas conducted in 366 male patients from sexually transmitted disease (STD) outpatient clinic in China for theprevalence of genital HR-HPV infection in men having frequent sex behavior. Penial epithelial cells were collectedfor HPV 6/11 and HPV 16/18 detection by fluorescent real-time quantified PCR.
Results: Among 94 couples,the prevalence of genital HR-HPV infection in men whose wife was positive for cervical HR-HPV was 5.32%(5/94). Only 2.63% (2/76) had the same high risk viral type presented by their wife. HPV 16 proved to be themost prevalent viral type in men and in couples. Of 366 male patients from STD outpatient clinic, the prevalenceof HPV 16/18 infection in men with or without HPV 6/11 was 6.85% and 8.16%, respectively. The incidenceof HPV 16/18 was higher in men aged more than 35 years than the young men (18-35 years).
Conclusion: Theprevalence of genital HR-HPV infection in male sexual partners of HPV-positive women in China was lowerthan that expected, and the concordance of high risk viral type between couples was extremely low. These datasuggested that infected men consitute an important viral reservoir, contributing to transmission of HR-HPV towomen and maintenance of infection, but HR-HPV infection may be less likely to persist in men than in women.