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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 326369, 7 pages
Research Article

Evidence for Vertical Transmission of HPV from Mothers to Infants

1Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
2Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
3Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
4Department of Experimental Virology, Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, U nemocnice 1, 128 20 Prague 2, Czech Republic

Received 26 June 2009; Revised 2 November 2009; Accepted 10 February 2010

Academic Editor: Kevin Ault

Copyright © 2010 Elaine M. Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Few large studies have evaluated concordance based on a broad spectrum of human papillomavirus (HPV) types in oral and genital specimens of mothers and their recently born infants. This information is important in determining whether HPV vaccines administered prior to pregnancy may be useful for preventing vertical transmission. HPV DNA was positive in 30% of mothers and 1.5% of newborns. Maternal/newborn concordance (HPV+/+ or HPV/) was 71%. Among HPV DNA+ mothers, only 3% of their infants were DNA+ and only 1 pair had the same HPV type. Among HPV women, 0.8% of infants were HPV+. HPV DNA detected in hospitalized newborns reflects current infection transmitted to infants during pregnancy or delivery. None of the mother/baby HPV DNA+ concordance pairs detected viral types found in HPV vaccines suggesting that vaccination prior to pregnancy is unlikely to be efficacious in preventing vertical transmission.