Perinatal transmission of human papillomavirus in infants: Relationship between infection rate and mode of delivery

Chih Jen Tseng*, Ching Chung Liang, Yung-Kuei Soong, Chia C. Pao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

116 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the transmission rate of human papillomavirus (HPV) in newborn infants of HPV-positive women and to assess the relationship between perinatal HPV transmission and mode of delivery. Methods: Three hundred one pregnant women were selected: vaginal delivery (n = 160) or cesarean delivery (n = 141). We assessed the presence of the HPV types 16 and 18 DNA sequences in buccal and genital swabs of neonates born to HPV- positive mothers, using the polymerase chain reaction. Results: The overall frequency of HPV 16/18 infection among the pregnant women was 22.6% (68/301). At birth, the overall frequency of HPV transmission from HPV 16/18-positive mothers to newborns was 39.7% (27/68). A significantly higher rate of HPV 16/18 infection was found at birth when infants were delivered vaginally than when infants were delivered by cesarean (18/35 or 51.4% versus 9/33 or 27.3%, P = .042). However, there was no significant difference in the incidence of perinatal HPV infection between the HPV types 16 and 18 in either vaginal delivery group or in the cesarean delivery group (all P > .100). No significant difference was found between the buccal and genital sites (27/68 versus 21/68, P = .234), or between male and female infants overall (12/36 versus 15/32, P = .255). Conclusions: The findings suggest that neonates are at higher risk for exposure to HPV after vaginal delivery than after cesarean delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 1998
Externally publishedYes


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