Co-Incidence of Human Papillomavirus and Epstein-Barr virus in oral cancer Patients: A pilot study.


  • Iqra Bibi Department of Microbiology, The University of Haripur, Haripur, Pakistan
  • Sumaira Sarwar Department of Biochemistry, Islamabad Medical and Dental College, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Afsheen Ashfaq Department of Medicine, Fazaia Medical College, PAF Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Iqbal Ahmad Alvi Department of Microbiology, Hazara University, Mansehra
  • Afshan Saleem Department of Microbiology, The University of Haripur, Haripur, Pakistan
  • Maimoona Sabir Department of Microbiology, The University of Haripur, Haripur, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Ikram Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA.



Human Papillomavirus, Epstein Barr Virus, Oral Carcinoma, Head and Neck Cancer


Oral carcinoma is a major disease and leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It is the most common malignant epithelial carcinoma affecting the oral cavity, 95% of the carcinoma of the oral cavity is squamous cell type in nature. Major risk factors associated with oral carcinoma are abnormal use of alcohol, smoking, and viruses like Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). The current study was designed to detect the different genes of HPV and EBV in oral carcinoma patients of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. A total of 150 blood samples from oral cancer patients and 156 from healthy individuals were collected. Blood samples of patients along with control samples were screened for HPV and EBV infection for which genomic DNA was extracted by phenol/chloroform method. HPV and EBV detection was performed by polymerase chain reaction on agarose gel electrophoresis. Among 150 oral cases, 118 (79%) were males and 32 (21%) were females. HPV 56 (37%) and EBV 48 (32%) were detected in oral cancer patients, while co-infection of HPV/EBV 22 (14.6%) was detected in oral cancer cases. Taken together, it is concluded that HPV and EBV infection, poor oral hygiene and tobacco products can be the main environmental factors for the development and progression of oral carcinoma in the Pakistani population. Future research with a large sample size is needed to elucidate the mechanism involved in HPV and EBV infection and oral carcinoma.