Infection with High Risk (HR) Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs) is the main aetiological agent of Cervical Squamous Cell
Carcinoma (CSCC) and also associated in a subgroup of other neoplasms, including Oropharyngeal Squamous cell Carcinoma (OPSCC).
HPV infection, in genital as in oral mucosa, can also be subclinical or associated with benign proliferative lesions (common warts, condylomas,
papillomas) caused mostly by infection with Low Risk (LR)-HPVs. In the last decades, extensive research has resulted in growing
knowledge on HPV biology and specifically viral life cycle, biochemical properties of viral proteins and their interaction with the
host proteins leading to potential new targets of prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines and therapies for HPV infection. In addition, notable
progresses have been made in the field of diagnostics to detect HPV DNA or RNA. The recent epidemiological data suggest the significant
changes in HPV endemic, due to the changes in sexual habits especially among young generations (i.e. early sexual debuts, multiple
sexual partners, oral and anal sex); this scenario has urged on the need of adequate campaigns of primary (sexual education, vaccination
programs) and secondary prevention (diagnostics of HPV-related diseases). Due to the growing interest on HPV infection and HPV related
cancers, the authors made a narrative review of the literature on oral HPV infection and oral-genital transmission. After this, in view
of the controversies about the strategies of therapy and prevention of HPV infection, the present review focuses on the current state of art
about the available tools for the therapeutic and, if any, preventive management of oral HPV infection.
Keywords: Human papillomavirus, oral mucosa, oral diseases HPV-related, viral transmission, oral surgery, HPV vaccines, genital HPV infection, oral sex, head and neck cancer, sexual education.
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