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Human Papilloma Virus and Autoimmune Disease: Is There a Relationship?

Grant Winners

  • Ines Velez, DDS – College of Dental Medicine
  • Michael A. Siegel, DDS – College of Dental Medicine
  • Lena M. Mejia, DDS – College of Dental Medicine
  • Morton Lieberman, DDS – College of Dental Medicine
  • Neil Spielholz, PhD – College of Dental Medicine
  • Jordan Kaltman – College of Dental Medicine


  • Robert Uchin D.D.S. – College of Dental Medicine


Award Winners

Autoimmune diseases in general affect approximately 5 to 10% of the world's developed population. The etiology and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases entails a particular combination of genetic, immune, infectious, hormonal, and environmental factors representing what has termed the ìmosaic of autoimmunity. Oral lichen planus (OLP), mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP), phemphigus vulgaris (PV) and epidermolysis bullosa aquisita (EBA) are some of the immunopathologic oral mucosal and cutaneous inflammatory mucocutaneous diseases. These chronic lesions are difficult to manage and are non-curable. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus that infects the squamous epithelium of the skin or mucosa. It causes both asymptomatic infections and various benign and malignant conditions. Studies to detect different HPV types in various oral mucosal diseases have been limited or have involved a small number of samples. We hypothesize that HPV is related to oral autoimmune conditions. We will study the presence of HPV in archived tissue specimens from the Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Services at NSU-CDM, with diagnosis of lichen planus (697.0), pemphigus vulgaris (694.4), mucous membrane pemphigoid (694.60) and epidermolysis bullosa aquisita (757.39). These diagnoses will be confirmed with direct immunofluorescence and other appropriate immunologic diagnostic tests (e.g. salt split) that will then be compared to a control for the presence of HPV in normal, non-inflamed tissue from the same specimen archive. If association between HPV and autoimmune diseases is found, it will constitute a huge step toward the management of these highly morbid conditions. Objectives: To determine the association between HPV and autoimmune oral diseases and to ascertain if the HPV may act as a possible co-factor for these diseases and their potential for morbidity.

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