Profile of human papillomavirus genotypes in breast and oesophageal cancer patients in Pretoria, South Africa

N. Maroga, T. Mokoena, N. Ledibane, A. Musekiwa, M. Bida, M. Kgomo, R. Lebelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The association between human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer is well established, and cervical cancer can be prevented through HPV vaccination. Little has been reported on the association between HPV and breast carcinoma (BC) or oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in Africa. It is possible that use of appropriate HPV vaccines against genotypes responsible for these cancers may also prevent their development. Objectives. To investigate HPV genotype prevalence in BC and OSCC patients in Pretoria, South Africa (SA). Methods. A retrospective cross‑sectional study of BC and OSCC patients managed at Steve Biko Academic Hospital from 2015 to 2019 was undertaken. Patient medical records were analysed, and DNA was extracted from their archived pathology material and amplified by polymerase chain reaction before hybridisation for HPV genotypes. Results. There were 101 patients with BC and 50 with OSCC. The prevalence of HPV infection in BC patients was 77.2%, with 35.6% high‑ risk (HR) genotypes, and that in OSCC patients 90.0%, with 56.0% HR genotypes. The most prevalent HPV genotypes (>20% each) were HPV 16, 70 and 51 for BC and HPV 51, 70, 16 and 82 for OSCC, with 31.7% and 60.0% of patients, respectively, having co‑infection with ≥2 genotypes. Conclusion. The high prevalence of infection with multiple HPV genotypes in BC and OSCC patients, with HPV 16, 51, 70, 35 and 82 the most common genotypes in these cancers, warrants expansion of the current SA bivalent HPV 16/18 vaccine for girls to include boys, and inclusion of HPV 51, 70, 35 and 82, in order to prevent BC and OSCC as well as cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1288
Number of pages6
JournalSouth African Medical Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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