Infectious Disease Roundup


HPV Not Spread Via Hand Contact, Study Claims

A newly released study is reporting to have concluded the debate as to the methods of transmission of the human papillomavirus (HPV). According to a study by researchers at Canada’s McGill University, HPV cannot be passed on to others due to contact with an infected person’s hands, although the disease is detectable on the hands. The research also suggests that having HPV on one’s hand does not increase the risk of transmitting HPV to a sexual partner, unlike being genital HPV positive. The McGill study is said to be the largest and the first study to offer concrete findings on whether hand-to-genital HPV transmission can occur independently of genital-to-genital transmission, according to a report by MDLinx. The results also provide what is considered to be the strongest evidence that hand-to-genital transmission is unlikely, according to the report. For the study, researchers reportedly recruited hundreds of heterosexual partners who agreed to provide hand and genital samples every few months. Their samples were genotyped for HPV DNA and their infection patterns were analyzed over time to see who got infected where, according to the report. Individuals were more likely to become HPV positive over time when their partner was HPV positive in the genitals or hands, the study claims. However, researchers found that the risk of becoming infected was largely attributable to the partners’ genital HPV infection, and that once they accounted for this, the risk of becoming infected was no longer correlated with HPV infections in the hands, the report states. The study has been published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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