At the beginning of the last century, human papillomavirus was cited as the cause of warts. Later, however, it could lead to the development of bisexual cancer of the genitals and cancer of the throat and rectum. Depending on the spectrum of clinical manifestations, doctors have been able to isolate different types of HPV and integrate them into a specific system.
Everything You Need to Know About Human Papillomavirus
Everyone: What is HPV? This abbreviation refers to a group of viruses that are widespread in the structure of DNA and are heterogeneous, capable of infecting the skin and mucous membranes. Infectious diseases with this substance have been going on for a long time. Thus, warts have been known since the time of the Greeks and Romans, and the warts of the anogenital region are much earlier. The PCR method was able to isolate type 18 HPV DNA from the mummy of Aragon Mary (16th century). It was also only at the beginning of the 21st century that it became possible to influence the spread of the causative agent.
Principles of classification
There are several opinions about the number of HPV types. It has been officially determined that this group contains more than 170 strains. They make up 5 generations, about 130 agents have been described and studied in detail. However, scientists already know about 600 species of humans.
HPV was first registered as a species in 1971. To date, knowledge about it has greatly enriched, not only this species, but also motivated to create a classification that reflects the tribe to which the strain belongs. In practice, this is important because it helps to determine the clinical manifestations and forms of infection.
Types of viruses are identified according to the following criteria:
- transmission method;
- target (skin or mucous membrane);
- diseases caused by infection;
- degree of oncogenicity.
Classification by carcinogenicity is necessary to prevent the consequences associated with the development of oncological processes.
Types of HPV:
- low risk - strains 6, 12, 14, 42-44;
- medium risk - 31, 35, 51 types;
- high risk - 16, 18, 45, 56, 58, 59.
This classification allows you to visually assess the level of risk and develop an adequate treatment strategy.
The most dangerous strains
HPV has been shown to stimulate the overgrowth of the dermis and lead to the formation of benign formations on the face, neck, shoulders and abdomen, each of which is similar to warts, papillomas and verukoform dysplasia. However, in most cases, high oncogenicity contributes to the development of oncology in both men and women. The virus is primarily sexually transmitted, and barrier contraceptives do not provide 100% protection against its entry.
The following strains are considered the most dangerous:
- Condylomatosis (appearance of acute vegetation) - 6, 42.
- Small flat formations on the walls of the vagina and cervical canal - 30, 33, 42, 43, 55, 57, 64, 67.
- Cervical cancer - 31, 35, 39, 54, 66. Types HPV 16 and 18 are considered the most dangerous.
It's important to know!Even after identifying the type of virus, you should not panic, because the most harmful strains can remain "dormant" for a long time. Thus, it can take decades from infection to cervical cancer.
Transmission of the virus to the body
Papillomavirus is considered highly contagious, and each type can be transmitted in a specific way.
The main ways of absorption of the pathogen into the body of the victim:
- Sexual intercourse with a carrier of the virus. The most common method of infection. Danger is expressed through traditional and other forms of sexual intercourse. Because the pathogen is much smaller than the diameter of the pores of the condom, the contraceptive does not provide 100% protection.
- A vertical type of infection is a viral infection transmitted from mother to child during childbirth. A non-cellular agent can cause papillomatosis of the larynx in the newborn, that is, growth in the mucous membranes of the larynx and mouth, and a small number of genitals.
- Contact and family transmission of the disease are also considered to be widespread. Some strains differ in their vitality, so they can maintain their activity in the humid environment. The risk of infection increases when you go to saunas, swimming pools, baths, and share personal hygiene items, especially if you have invisible micro-injuries on your skin.
- Autoinjection or self-infection occurs when a living cell of the virus is accidentally killed, during epilation and without following the rules of hygiene, when it accidentally passes from the damaged area to the healthy skin.
It's important to know!Carcinogenic risk factors are mainly sexually transmitted, and barrier contraceptives do not guarantee complete protection against infection. This is due not only to the small size of the virus, but also to its localization on the surface of the dermis, which is not covered with a condom.
Causes of papillomatosis progression
Regardless of the degree of oncogenicity, HPV is secretive, meaning that it can survive in the human body without showing itself. Depending on the state of the immune system, the incubation period can last from 2-3 weeks to several decades. Therefore, people without external signs are unaware that there is an infectious agent in their body.
Rapid proliferation also begins immediately, but under favorable conditions, in particular, the weakening of the defense mechanism, against the background of the following factors:
- stress, overwork;
- poor and monotonous food;
- hormonal imbalance;
- Bad habits - smoking and alcohol abuse;
- frequent abortions, postpartum complications;
- inflammatory and infectious diseases of the genitourinary system;
- STIs, including AIDS, HIV, herpes;
- acute chronic diseases;
The risk group is mostly people of the fair sex. Infection can occur in people of reproductive age, sexually active people aged 20-45 years.
Characters of different levels
Human papillomavirus infection can be overt or latent or subclinical. The symptomatic manifestations of the disease vary, depending on the type of HPV and its risk. The latent course of the disease is characterized by the absence of symptoms.
- flat and obscene warts;
- genital warts.
Forms that are not visible during external examination:
- epithelial dysplasia.
Against the background of papillomavirus recurrence occurs in the form of the following pathologies:
- dyskeratosis with mild epithelial changes;
- dysplasia itself;
- broad cell cancer.
It's important to know!In non-oncogenic viruses, localized warts may appear on the palms and soles. There are no instructions for removal unless there is a cosmetic inconvenience.
During exacerbation, a woman may have a fever, chills, itching, fever, and vaginal discharge.
Learn more about the consequences
The type and severity of HPV infection is determined by the activity of the pathogen and its type. When the genotype is exposed to a high oncogenic risk, prolonged replication contributes to genomic mutations and an increase in the number of cellular structures.
Against the background of bacterial vaginosis, the transformation of the cervical epithelium, as well as a number of other pathological processes in the body, lead to the pre-cancerous stage or the development of malignant tumors.
The next includes the following states.
- Cervical cancer. The second most common disease in women after breast cancer. More than 70% of all cases are caused by HPV types 16 and 18.
- Vaginal and vulvar cancer. It occupies a leading position in the structure of oncopathology of the anogenital zone. One in ten cases is caused by a low-carcinogenic strain 6 or 11, and one-third of all diseases are caused by viruses 16 and 18.
- Anal cancer. It is more common in women, but is more common in homosexual men who use non-traditional methods of sexual intercourse, although doctors do not rule out other ways of infection. The cause of oncopathology is the activity of HPV types 18 and 16.
Of course, this is not a verdict, but due to this information, the need for careful gynecological and cancer diagnosis is growing. Comprehensive testing allows early detection of structural changes in cells and tissues, which helps to determine the correct treatment of human papillomavirus.
As mentioned above, diagnostic measures play an important role in the defeat of HPV infection.
Modern examination is carried out carefully and includes several procedures:
- Initial consultation includes visual inspection to identify external signs (warts, papillomas). If plants are found in the genitourinary tract, the doctor will refer the patient for further examination of the cervix or urethroscopy.
- RAP test or Pap smear cytology. Based on the results divided into classes, the doctor determines the risk of the infectious process. Thus, 1 and 2 degrees characterize the normal state of tissues, 3 - about the onset of pathological changes, 4 and 5 - characterize the presence of oncogenic cells.
- Colposcopy. It is performed when there are dysplastic changes in the tissues of the cervix. An acetic acid test is performed to determine the activity of the papilloma virus. On the surface of the epithelium, a positive effect appears as a mosaic pattern.
- Histology. Examination of the sample of damaged tissue is carried out if it is necessary to study the cells and the pathological changes that take place in them. During the procedure, you can identify particularly large epithelial structures.
- PCR. The most common and highly informative test. With the help of a polymerase chain reaction, dialing can be performed to determine the level of oncogenicity and the maximum concentration in the blood.
- Digene test. The modern innovative method of research allows to clarify the current results and determine the likelihood of the formation of oncology education.
The same diagnostic tactic is used for men. After visual inspection, it is sent for analysis. Only on the basis of the results of the examination, the specialist can assess the complexity of the clinical case and prescribe adequate treatment.
Today, there is no drug that can completely and permanently eradicate a viral infection in the body. If there was no self-healing, then the most promising is a comprehensive combination approach. The HPV treatment system includes medications, homeopathic remedies and folk remedies for surgical removal of papillomas or warts in the background of therapy. There are several options for eliminating growth.
Radiosurgical. The formation is excavated with a special knife, then coagulated and bandaged.
Laser. Bloodless and painless way. A crust remains on the site, under which the healing process takes place. The disadvantage is the appearance of scars.
Electrocoagulation. The procedure is very similar to the previous two in terms of efficiency, cost and effectiveness.
Cryodestruction. Treatment of various plants with liquid nitrogen. Once frozen, the skin rejects them. Affordable prices, lack of blood, scars make this method the most attractive.
Surgical excision. It is rarely performed on indications, only when there is a suspicion of the possibility of developing cancer. Growths are removed with a scalpel.
Systemic treatment of papillomavirus strengthens the immune system, reduces the concentration of the agent DNA in the blood and prevents the development of harmful processes.
Prescribes tablets for this purpose:
- antiviral drugs;
The duration of treatment is 10-14 days. If you have a regular sexual partner, you need to get him tested and persuade him to start therapy. Don't stop growing yourself.
Because human papillomavirus is easily spread to people of all ages, there is no guaranteed way to prevent it from entering. Patient reviews show that vaccination is a reliable way to prevent infection.
Modern medicine offers special serums for prevention. The drugs are released in the form of suspensions in disposable syringes, which simplifies the administration of the vaccine and minimizes the risk of infection. Girls and boys aged 9-14, as well as young women under 26 are vaccinated. Serums are well absorbed by the body.
Vaccination is prophylactic and cannot be used as a medicine.
To reduce the risk of infection, simple recommendations should be followed.
- Carefully monitor personal hygiene;
- get rid of bad habits;
- Strengthen the immune system through exercise;
- Practice only protected sex, avoid casual relationships;
- Be careful when choosing a sexual partner;
- gynecologist, venereologist.
If you take care of your health, you will avoid infection, and if you get the virus, your chances of spreading it will decrease.
HPV is the most common infection that no one can protect. To prevent the virus from becoming active, it is necessary to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of cancer, get tested in a timely manner and seek professional advice.