Introduction: The cytokines that may be associated with the clearance or persistence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in patients with mild dysplasia or less of the uterine cervix were determined.
Methods: A prospective study of 160 patients who harbored high-risk HPV with histologically confirmed mild dysplasia or less between January 2006 and August 2008 was performed. All patients were followed up at every 4 months during the first year. Human papillomavirus DNA tests by the Hybrid Capture 2 method (Digene, Gaithersburg, Md) were performed at every visit on all patients. Blood sampling was performed in all patients at their initial visit, and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the serum levels of interferon γ, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukins 6 and 10.
Results: Of the 160 patients, 107 (66.9%) had clearance of HPV infection after 12 months of follow-up. The median age of patients in the persistence group was significantly higher than that of patients in the clearance group (47 vs 38 years, respectively; range, 21-77 vs 21-71 years, respectively; P = 0.0009). In univariate analysis, the number of patients with serum negative for tumor necrosis factor α was significantly higher in the clearance group than the persistence group (P = 0.0363). However, in multivariate logistic regression analysis, all 4 cytokines failed to show any significant association with the clearance or persistence of HPV infection.
Conclusions: The baseline serum cytokine levels were not associated with the clearance or persistence of HPV infection. Systemic immunity may not influence the natural history of HPV infection.
- Human papillomavirus
- Interferon γ
- Tumor necrosis factor α
- Interleukin 6
- Interleukin 10
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