Detection of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 in Plasma Cells
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Chronic benign plasma cell tumor of the cervix, also called chronic plasma cell cervicitis, is a rare disease of unknown etiology, characterized by a heavy infiltration of plasma cells forming granulation tissue. To identify infectious agents associated with this disease, we extracted and analyzed DNA from the 17-year-old paraffin section of the original case report and from granulation tissue surgically removed from a patient at our institution with a chronic benign plasma cell tumor. The DNA from both patients was shown by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to contain a human papillomavirus 16 (HPV 16) sequence. Genomic Southern analysis of the fresh-frozen tissue confirmed the initial PCR finding. In situ hybridization further demonstrated that the HPV 16 was present in the plasma cells and not a contaminant from the surrounding epithelial tissue. The etiological role of HPV 16, an oncogenic virus associated with cervical carcinoma, in this disease is not yet clear. Our results, however, suggest that the types of cells that are infected by HPV may include cells of lymphoid origin, and that HPV may be associated with chronic benign plasma cell tumors of the cervix.
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