Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of a diverse group of viruses that infect the skin and mucosal epithelium. Currently, more than 100 variants or genotypes of this virus have been identified. Some are low-risk (causing benign lesions), while others are high-risk and associated with cervical and other cancers.
Several investigations on HPV show high-risk genotypes to be a necessary but not sufficient reason for the development of cervical cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the fourth most common type of cancer in women worldwide, with 604 thousand new cases and 342 thousand deaths estimated in 2020.
A research group at the José María Vennela Institute of Virology (Faculty of Medical Sciences-UNC) has been working for years on the detection of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in pregnant people, primarily with HPV and chlamydia.
“There are more and more reports that suggest that HPV infection can also be acquired through non-sexual routes and one of them may be transmission from mother to child during the perinatal period: through the birth canal or amniotic fluid. Following premature rupture of membranes.” , among other reasons, details Jessica Mossman from the “Chlamydias and HPV” laboratory, and one of the people responsible for the research project.
Researchers point out that STIs in pregnant people have a double impact because in addition to infecting adults, they can also be transmitted to the baby, which can cause deformities during the neonatal period or years later.
“It is believed that the state of immunosuppression during pregnancy will lead to more aggressive HPV infection and that the second trimester is the most vulnerable,” Mossman tells UNCIENCIA and warns that one of the pathologies most likely to occur in a boy or girl is papillomatosis. . respiration
“A benign but complex disease that causes warts in the respiratory tubes and blockage of the airways, requiring surgery,” the expert explains.
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