Co-Incidence of Epstein-Barr Virus and High-Risk Human Papillomaviruses in Cervical Cancer of Syrian Women.
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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been recently shown to be co-present with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) in human cervical cancer; thus, these oncoviruses play an important role in the initiation and/or progression of this cancer. Accordingly, our group has recently viewed the presence and genotyping distribution of high-risk HPVs in cervical cancer in Syrian women; our data pointed out that HPVs are present in 42/44 samples (95%). Herein, we aim to explore the co-prevalence of EBV and high-risk HPVs in 44 cervical cancer tissues from Syrian women using polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and tissue microarray analyses. We found that EBV and high-risk HPVs are co-present in 15/44 (34%) of the samples. However, none of the samples was exclusively EBV-positive. Additionally, we report that the co-expression of LMP1 and E6 genes of EBV and high-risk HPVs, respectively, is associated with poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinomas phenotype; this is accompanied by a strong and diffuse overexpression of Id-1 (93% positivity), which is an important regulator of cell invasion and metastasis. These data imply that EBV and HPVs are co-present in cervical cancer samples in the Middle East area including Syria and their co-presence is associated with a more aggressive cancer phenotype. Future investigations are needed to elucidate the exact role of EBV and HPVs cooperation in cervical carcinogenesis.