Tuberculosis and Oncogenic HPV: Potential Co-infections in Women at High-risk of Cervical Cancer in Rural China


The study was embedded in Shanxi Province Cervical Cancer Screening Study II with the aim of examining the association between history of diagnosed tuberculosis or cervical inflammation and oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, persistent oncogenic HPV infection, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or cervical cancer (CIN3+) in an isolated rural population of China. A total of 8,798 women were recruited for cervical cancer screening and an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Of the women in the study, 2.7% and 34% reported a diagnosis of tuberculosis and cervical inflammation, respectively. In the model for HPV infection,HPV persistence and CIN3+, we show an increasing magnitude of effect of tuberculosis with increasing severity of disease, as demonstrated by the increasing odds ratios from 1.68 for HPV positivity, to 1.75 for persistent HPV and then 2.08 for CIN3+. Women reporting a diagnosis of tuberculosis, cervical inflammation or both tuberculosis and cervical inflammation were at 75%, 22% and 113% higher odds of persistent HPV infection, respectively. One percent of the study population was diagnosed with tuberculosis and cervical inflammation, placing them at 90% and 113% higher odds of infection with HPV and persistent HPV, respectively. Tuberculosis and oncogenic HPV are identified for the first time as co-infections in rural unscreened women in Shanxi Province, China, highlighting the importance of infection history in assessing an individual’s risk for HPV infection, persistence and CIN3+.