Background: Human Papillomavirus is associated with different types of human cancers, such as anogenital and oral cancer. Some studies show that the appearance of lesions and progression to cancer are related to the type of host immune response. Thus, evidence indicates that the host immune response has a role key in the course of HPV infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the specific immune response in vitro to HPV in men with lesions caused by HPV and without injury caused by HPV.
Methods: We recruited 31 patients and 11 volunteers, who formed four groups, with 12 patients in Group A (HIV+/HPV+); 09 patients in Group B (HIV-/HPV+); 10 patients in Group C (HIV+/HPV-) and 11 healthy subjects in Group D (HIV-/HPV-). Cells culture assay was performed to measure the specific immune response “in vitro” Th1/Th2/Th17 (IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-17) under the stimulation of quadrivalent HPV vaccine (HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18) and the E7 protein of HPV-16.
Results: The coinfected group (HIV+/HPV+) had higher levels of cytokines, especially Th2 profile, compared with data from the other study groups. The coinfected group showed high levels of IL-6 and IL-10 (Th2 profile) compared to the control Group (HIV-/HPV-), with statistical significance (p<0.0001 and p<0.0001, respectively).
Conclusions: This study demonstrated a high production of cytokines in the coinfected group, suggesting a strong immunomodulation by coinfection HIV/HPV. However, further studies should be conducted to confirm these data. In addition to presenting essentially a Th2 profile, especially by high levels of IL-6 and IL-10 presented, suggesting that these two cytokines may serve as biomarkers for viral persistence, since HIV seropositive patients have a higher persistence of HPV, and monitor the progression to more serious injuries.