High-Risk Human Papillomaviruses and Epstein-Barr Virus in Colorectal Cancer and Their Association with Clinicopathological Status.
Al Farsi, Halema
AlAhmad, Yaman M
Al Moustafa, Ala-Eddin
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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy with a high mortality rate worldwide. It is a complex, multifactorial disease that is strongly impacted by both hereditary and environmental factors. The role of microbes (e.g., viruses) in the pathogenesis of CRC is poorly understood. In the current study, we explored the status of high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in a well-defined CRC cohort using immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction assays. Our data showed that high-risk HPVs were common (~80%) and EBV had a low presence (14-25%) in the CRC samples. The most common high-risk HPVs are HPV16, 31, 18, 51, 52 and 45 genotypes. The co-presence of high-risk HPV and EBV was observed in ~16% of the sample population without any significant association with the clinicopathological variables. We conclude that high-risk HPVs are very prevalent in CRC samples while EBV positivity is relatively low. The co-expression of the two viruses was observed in a minority of cases and without any correlation with the studied parameters. Further studies are necessary to confirm the clinical relevance and potential therapeutic (preventive) effects of the observations reported herein.