The presence of betapapillomavirus antibodies around transplantation predicts the development of keratinocyte carcinoma in organ transplant recipients: a cohort study

Roel E Genders, Hadi Mazlom, Angelika Michel, Elsemieke I Plasmeijer, Koen D Quint, Michael Pawlita, Els van der Meijden, Tim Waterboer, Hans de Fijter, Frans H Claas, Ron Wolterbeek, Mariet C W Feltkamp, Jan Nico Bouwes Bavinck
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2015, 135 (5): 1275-1282
Organ transplant recipients (OTRs) have an increased risk of developing keratinocyte carcinomas (KCs). The aim of this study was to correlate infection with human papillomaviruses (HPVs) belonging to the beta genus (Beta-papillomavirus (Beta-PV)) at transplantation with later development of KCs. In a cohort study, sera collected between 1 year before and 1 year after transplantation of OTRs transplanted between 1990 and 2006 were tested for antibody responses against the L1 capsid antigen of Beta-PV and other HPV genera (Gamma-, Mu-, Nu-, and Alpha-PV) using multiplex serology. The OTRs were followed for a maximum of 22 years. Cox regression models with KC, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) as outcome variables were used. Out of 445 OTRs, 60 had developed KC: 14 developed only SCC, 24 only BCC, and 22 both types of KC. The time-dependent hazard ratio (HR) to develop either or both types of KC, adjusted for age, sex, and transplanted organ, in tested Beta-PV-seropositive OTR around the time of transplantation compared with Beta-PV-seronegative OTR was 2.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-6.4). The HR for SCC was 2.9 (95% CI 0.99-8.5) and for BCC it was 3.1 (95% CI 1.2-8.0). There was also an association between Mu-PV seropositivity and KC, but there were no significant associations between other HPV genera tested and KC. A positive seroresponse for Beta-PV around transplantation significantly predicted the development of KC in OTRs up to 22 years later, providing additional evidence that infection with Beta-PV has a role in KC carcinogenesis.

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