Human Papillomavirus (HPV) virion induced cancer and subfertility, two sides of the same coin


infertility, clonal, transient virion producing, spermatozoa, semen, donor sperm

Published online: Feb 12 2017


Department of Clinical and Molecular Pathology, AML, Sonic Healthcare, Antwerp, Belgium

2 Intermediate structure human body material, AML, Sonic Healthcare, Antwerp, Belgium


In the natural history of HPV infections, the HPV virions can induce two different pathways, namely the infectious virion producing pathway and the clonal transforming pathway. An overview is given of the burden that is associated with HPV infections that can both lead to cervical cancer and/or temporal subfertility. That HPV infections cause serious global health burden due to HPV-associated cancers is common knowledge, but that it is also responsible for a substantial part of idiopathic subfertility is greatly underestimated. The bulk of the detected HPV DNA whether in men or women is however infectious from origin. Because the dissociation between HPV viruses and HPV virions or infection and disease remains difficult for clinicians as well as for HPV detection, we propose a review of the different effects caused by the two different HPV virion induced pathways, and highlight the mechanisms that are responsible for causing transient subfertility and cancer.