Episodic detection of human papillomavirus within a longitudinal cohort of young women

Marcia Shew, Aaron Ermel, Yan Tong, Wanzhu Tu, Brahim Qadadri, Darron Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Redetection of a type-specific human papillomavirus (HPV) infection may represent reinfection. However, a growing body of literature suggests that reactivation of HPV is common and that episodic detection of a HPV infection may represent reactivation of a persistent virus. A cohort of prospectively followed adolescent women (N=150), ages 14-17, was observed on average 6.4 years. The authors describe the redetection of 37 HPV types and associated factors of redetection of high-risk (HR) and low-risk (LR) types using Cox proportional hazard models. Of 1,248 HPV type-specific infections, 286 (22.9%) were associated with redetection after apparent clearance. Chlamydia infections (HR=1.99 [95%CI, 1.15-3.49]) and non-condom use (HR=1.1 [95%CI, 1.04-1.99]) were associated with increased redetection of HR-HPV infections. Oral contraceptive pills (HR=2.73 [95%CI, 1.52-4.90]) and number of sexual partners (HR=1.44 [95%CI, 1.04-1.99]) were associated with increased redetection of LR-HPV infections. Episodic detection of HPV is common for HR- and LR-HPV types. This finding and identified factors or redetection have clinical implications and enhances the understanding of HPV natural history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2122-2129
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Episodic detection
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Latency
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Sexually transmitted infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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