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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2018, Article ID 5315816, 10 pages
Review Article

New Insights in the Pathogenesis of HPV Infection and the Associated Carcinogenic Processes: The Role of Chronic Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

1“Victor Babes” Clinical Hospital for Infectious Diseases, 281 Mihai Bravu, 030303 Bucharest, Romania
2“Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 37 Dionisie Lupu, 020021 Bucharest, Romania
3“Prof. N. Paulescu” National Institute of Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, 22-24 Gr. Manolescu, Bucharest 011233, Romania
4“Wolfson Medical Center”, 61 Halochamim Street, 58100 Holon, Israel
5“Cantacuzino” National Medico-Military Institute for Research and Development, 103 Splaiul Independentei, 050096 Bucharest, Romania

Correspondence should be addressed to Cristina Iulia Mitran; moc.liamg@nartim.ailui.anitsirc

Received 13 July 2018; Accepted 8 August 2018; Published 27 August 2018

Academic Editor: Iulia D. Popescu

Copyright © 2018 Simona Roxana Georgescu 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.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a small double-stranded DNA virus with tropism for epithelial cells. To this date, over 150 genotypes are known and are classified into two major groups, low-risk and high-risk strains, depending on the ability of the virus to induce malignant transformation. The host’s immunity plays a central role in the course of the infection; therefore, it may not be clinically manifest or may produce various benign or malignant lesions. The pathogenic mechanisms are complex and incompletely elucidated. Recent research suggests the role of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress (OS) in the pathogenesis of HPV infection and the associated carcinogenic processes. Chronic inflammation induces OS, which in turn promotes the perpetuation of the inflammatory process resulting in the release of numerous molecules which cause cell damage. Reactive oxygen species exert a harmful effect on proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Viral oncogenes E5, E6, and E7 are involved in the development of chronic inflammation through various mechanisms. In addition, HPV may interfere with redox homeostasis of host cells, inducing OS which may be involved in the persistence of the infection and play a certain role in viral integration and promotion of carcinogenesis. Knowledge regarding the interplay between chronic inflammation and OS in the pathogenesis of HPV infection and HPV-induced carcinogenesis has important consequences on the development of new therapeutic strategies.