Viral and bacterial aetiologies of epithelial ovarian cancer

S. Shanmughapriya, N. Vasanthi, G. SenthilKumar, S. Shanmughapriya, K. Vinodhini, K. Natarajaseenivasan, B. C. Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


We sought to analyse the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia trachomatis and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in women with epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based detection of microbial infections was carried out. A total of 39 tissue samples were analysed with consensus and type-specific primers for HPV, primers specific for the cryptic plasmid of Chlamydia and primers for glycoprotein B of CMV. The samples analysed showed 40%, 80% and 50% positivity for HPV, Chlamydia and CMV infection, respectively, in cancerous ovarian tissues. The HPV type detected was HPV 6, with its genome integrated to the host genome in case of both invasive and borderline tumours and existed episomally in healthy controls. The patients with Chlamydia (odds ratio [OR] 32; 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.33, 307.65) and CMV infection (OR 8; 95% CI 0.888, 72.10) are at significantly higher risk of development of ovarian tumours. The present study validates the theory of chronic infections and inflammation in the pathogenesis of epithelial ovarian cancer. Further seroepidemiological studies and large fresh tissue sampling may represent the real prevalence of infections among ovarian carcinoma patients. This study is the first of its kind in detecting the bacterial and viral aetiologies in the development of ovarian carcinoma among Indian women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2311-2317
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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