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Minerva Ginecologica 2002 April;54(2):179-84

language: Italian

The role of some micronutrients in the evolution of HPV infection

Atlante M., Mariani L., Luci M., Carico E., Diotallevi F., Iacovelli A., Vincenzoni C.


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Background. Over the past few years a series of research projects has shown that the scant or deficient immune response in HIV infection may be secondary to reduced cell resistance and/or the uncontrolled formation of free radicals. In line with these findings, subjects with HIV infection present a deficit of polyunsaturated fatty acids (the prncipal components of cell membranes) and many antioxidating substances, like Vitamin E and glutathione peroxidase. The high incidence of heterosexual transmission of HIV has now shown the close correlation between HIV infection and HPV infection. By analogy, we wanted to ascertain wheter these deficits were also present in subjects with HPV infection and dysplastic and neoplastic lesions of the uterine cervix. Published data confirm that a HPV-positive subject has an increased risk, ranging from 40 to 200%, of contracting HIV infection.
Methods. Eighty women wuith HPV infection of the genital tract, at various stages. Blood levels of vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids were measured using gas-chromatography; glutathione was assayed using the spectrophotometric technique.
Results. The alternation of the aforesaid parameters is correlated to the progress of infection and increases with the severity of lesions; Statistically significant data were recorded by comparing the group with condylomatosis with patients diagnosed with cervical carcinoma (p<0.001).
Conclusions. The increased possibility that some patients are affected by an association of HPV and HIV depends on the anomalous or scarce function of many immunocompetent cells, as well the quantitative immune deficiency induced by the initial virus and the presence of various mechanisms that facilitate the development of the infection.

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