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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3086036, 19 pages
Review Article

Human Papillomavirus Infection as a Possible Cause of Spontaneous Abortion and Spontaneous Preterm Delivery

1Center for Clinical Research, North Denmark Regional Hospital and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Bispensgade 37, 9800 Hjørring, Denmark
2Department of Hematology, Aalborg University Hospital, Søndre Skovvej 15, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard 99, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

Received 18 December 2015; Revised 10 March 2016; Accepted 13 March 2016

Academic Editor: Susan Cu-Uvin

Copyright © 2016 Lea Maria Margareta Ambühl 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.


Based on the current literature, we aimed to provide an overview on Human Papillomavirus prevalence in normal pregnancies and pregnancies with adverse outcome. We conducted a systematic literature search in PubMed and Embase. Data extracted from the articles and used for analysis included HPV prevalence, pregnancy outcome, geographical location, investigated tissue types, and HPV detection methods. The overall HPV prevalence in normal full-term pregnancies was found to be 17.5% (95% CI; 17.3–17.7) for cervix, 8.3% (95% CI; 7.6–9.1) for placental tissue, 5.7% (95% CI; 5.1–6.3) for amniotic fluid, and 10.9% (95% CI; 10.1–11.7) for umbilical cord blood. Summary estimates for HPV prevalence of spontaneous abortions and spontaneous preterm deliveries, in cervix (spontaneous abortions: 24.5%, and preterm deliveries: 47%, resp.) and placenta (spontaneous abortions: 24.9%, and preterm deliveries: 50%, resp.), were identified to be higher compared to normal full-term pregnancies ( and ). Great variation in HPV prevalence was observed between study populations of different geographical locations. This review demonstrates an association between spontaneous abortion, spontaneous preterm delivery, and the presence of HPV in both the cervix and the placenta. However, a reliable conclusion is difficult to draw due to the limited number of studies conducted on material from pregnancies with adverse outcome and the risk of residual confounding.