The association of HLA-G polymorphism with oral and genital HPV infection in men

Nelli T. Suominen, Anna J. Jaakola, Michel Roger, Marie Claude Faucher, Kari J. Syrjänen, Seija E. Grénman, Stina M. Syrjänen, Karolina Louvanto

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The host genetic factors that influence the natural history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in men are not well known. Our aim was to evaluate the role of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G polymorphism in oral and genital HPV infection in men. Altogether, 130 men from the Finnish Family HPV Study, with a 6-year follow-up, were included in the analyses. HLA-G alleles were tested by direct sequencing. Oral, urethral, and semen samples were collected and analyzed for 24 different HPV genotypes. Unconditional logistic regression was used to determine associations between HLA-G alleles and genotypes with HPV infection and its outcomes. Overall, eight different HLA-G alleles were identified with 15 different HLA-G genotype combinations. The most common HLA-G allele among the men was G*01:01:01 (86.2%, n = 112) followed by G*01:01:02 (36.2%, n = 47). Allele G*01:01:02 showed to be protective against any- and high-risk (HR) oral HPV (OR range of 0.20–0.24, 95% CI range of 0.06–0.85). Men having allele G*01:01:01 showed a reduced risk for incident (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.11–0.84) and persistent (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.08–0.69) oral infections. Allele G*01:01:03 was associated with increased risk for urethral HR-HPV infections (OR 4.94, 95% CI 1.34–18.27). Among self-reported demographic data, genotype G*01:01:01/01:01:03 was associated with an increased risk for oral warts (OR 8.00, 95% CI 1.23–51.89) and allele G*01:03:01 increased the risk of pollen and/or animal allergy (OR 13.59, 95% CI 1.57–117.25). To conclude, HLA-G polymorphism in men largely impacts the outcome of an oral HPV infection and seems to associate with self-reported allergies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Early online date25 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Genital
  • HLA-G
  • HPV
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Men
  • Oral

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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