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Human Papillomavirus and Epstein-Barr virus co-infection in Cervical Carcinoma in Algerian women

Abdelhalim Khenchouche1, Nabila Sadouki2, Arab Boudriche3, Karim Houali4, Abdelaziz Graba5, Tadamasa Ooka6* and Abdelmadjid Bouguermouh2

Author Affiliations

1 Departement de Microbiologie, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Université Sétif-1, Sétif, Algeria

2 Institut Pasteur d’Algérie, Laboratoire Virus-Cancer, Sidi Fredj, Algeria

3 Service de gynécologie, Hôpital de Zeralda, Algiers, Algeria

4 Laboratoire LABAB, Faculté des Sciences Biologiques et Agronomiques, Université Mouloud Mammeri de Tizi-Ouzou, Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria

5 Service de chirurgie-oncologie, Centre de Pierre et Marie Curie, CHU Mustapaha Bacha, Algiers, Algeria

6 Laboratoire de Virologie Moléculaire, UMR5537, C.N.R.S, Faculté de Médecine R.T.H. Laennec, Lyon, France

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:340  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-340

Published: 19 November 2013



Despite the fact that the implication of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the carcinogenesis and prognosis of cervical cancer is well established, the impact of a co-infection with high risk HPV (HR-HPV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is still not fully understood.


Fifty eight randomly selected cases of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the uterine cervix, 14 normal cervices specimens, 21 CIN-2/3 and 16 CIN-1 cases were examined for EBV and HPV infections. Detection of HR-HPV specific sequences was carried out by PCR amplification using consensus primers of Manos and by Digene Hybrid Capture. The presence of EBV was revealed by amplifying a 660 bp specific EBV sequence of BALF1. mRNA expression of LMP-1 in one hand and protein levels of BARF-1, LMP-1 and EBNA-1 in the other hand were assessed by RT-PCR and immunoblotting and/or immunohischemistry respectively.


HR-HPV infection was found in patients with SCC (88%), low-grade (75%) and high grade (95%) lesions compared to only 14% of normal cervix cases. However, 69%, 12.5%, 38.1%, and 14% of SCC, CIN-1, CIN-2/3 and normal cervix tissues, respectively, were EBV infected. The highest co-infection (HR-HPV and EBV) was found in squamous cell carcinoma cases (67%). The latter cases showed 27% and 29% expression of EBV BARF-1 and LMP-1 oncogenes respectively.


The high rate of HR-HPV and EBV co-infection in SCC suggests that EBV infection is incriminated in cervical cancer progression. This could be taken into account as bad prognosis in this type of cancer. However, the mode of action in dual infection in cervical oncogenesis needs further investigation.

Human papillomavirus; Epstein-Barr virus; Cervical cancer; Uterine cervix; Confection