Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) in childhood causes skin and anogenital warts as well as the recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a life-threatening cause of upper airway obstruction in children. To date, the information on HPV infection in tonsillar and adenoid hyperplasia in children is limited.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of HPV DNA in children with benign tonsillar and/or adenoid hyperplasia.
Methods: One hundred six samples of paraffin-embedded adenoid and/or tonsillar tissues from 102 children, 57 girls and 45 boys (age range, 2–14 years), were tested for the presence of HPV DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with general primers GP5+/GP6+. HPV typing was performed by PCR with specific primers for HPV-16, -18, -33 and -11.
Results: HPV DNA was detected in 9 (8.5%) of the 106 collected specimens. The frequencies of HPV typing were 6 of 9 (66.7%) for HPV-16, 2 of 9 (22.2%) for HPV-11, zero of 9 (0%) for HPV-33 and HPV-18, whereas one HPV-positive sample remained untyped. No multiple HPV infection was detected. HPV was detected in 6 (9.4%) children with tonsillar hyperplasia and in 3 (7.1%) with adenoid hyperplasia. The mean age of children with HPV-positive specimens was lower than that of HPV-negative children (P = 0.006). No statistical correlation in the prevalence of HPV infection was observed according to children's sex, origin or residence (urban or rural).
Conclusion: Although the significance of the presence of HPV DNA in tonsillar and adenoid hyperplasias remains obscure, the PCR detection of high-risk HPV DNA should be evaluated cautiously.