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Home HPV Research HPV Research HPV Infections in Newborns Short-lived

HPV Infections in Newborns Short-lived

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Babies who acquire HPV from their mothers at birth typically clear the virus in a short time, according to a study published in Virology Journal.

Researchers in Korea enrolled 300 pregnant women in a study to examine HPV prevalence in expectant mothers and look at the rate of “vertical transmission” (when HPV is passed from a mother to the baby), along with factors that may be linked with mother-to-infant transmission. 291 women gave birth during the study, 55 of whom (18.9%) had cervical HPV detected. Swabs of the buccal mucosa (the lining of the cheeks) were taken from newborns and tested for HPV.

Of the babies born to women with HPV, HPV was found in 10 (18.2%). None of the babies delivered by women without HPV were found to have the virus. Factors associated with transmission were vaginal delivery (each of the 10 infants with HPV detected were delivered vaginally) and the mother having multiple HPV infections. Length of labor and premature rupture of membranes were not associated with neonatal transmission.

The HPV didn’t last long, however: Each infant who had HPV detected at birth cleared the virus within six months, however, leading the investigators to conclude these may not have been “true” infections.

Park H, Lee SW, Lee IH, et al. Rate of vertical transmission of human papillomavirus from mothers to infants: Relationship between infection rate and mode of delivery. Virology Journal, 2012. 9(80).