The following is a summary of “Characterization of the oral microbiota among middle-aged men with and without human papillomavirus infection,” published in the July 2023 issue of the Oral Oncology by Dahlstrom et al.
This study aims to characterize the oral microbiota of middle-aged men and identify differences between those with and without a prevalent oral high-risk (oncogenic) HPV infection. This case-control investigation was embedded within a prospective screening of middle-aged men for HPV-related cancers.
To characterize the oral microbiota, 16S rRNA sequencing was utilized, and the Cobas HPV Test was utilized to detect the presence of oral high-risk HPV varieties. Researchers assessed differences in the relative abundance of bacterial taxa and alpha and beta diversity between men with a prevalent oral high-risk HPV infection and men who were HPV-negative.
They found significant differences in beta diversity but not alpha diversity between 13 high-risk HPV-positive and 30 HPV-negative men. Fretibacterium, F0058, Kingella, Treponema, and Prevotella were more prevalent among high-risk HPV-positive men, whereas Neisseria and Lactobacillus were more prevalent among HPV-negative men. This study adds to the evidence that the oral microbiota differs according to the status of oral HPV infection and may be associated with the natural history of oral HPV infection.