Viral and bacterial aetiologies of epithelial ovarian cancer

  • S. Shanmughapriya
  • G. SenthilKumar
  • K. Vinodhini
  • B. C. Das
  • N. Vasanthi
  • K. Natarajaseenivasan


We sought to analyse the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia trachomatis and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in women with epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based detection of microbial infections was carried out. A total of 39 tissue samples were analysed with consensus and type-specific primers for HPV, primers specific for the cryptic plasmid of Chlamydia and primers for glycoprotein B of CMV. The samples analysed showed 40%, 80% and 50% positivity for HPV, Chlamydia and CMV infection, respectively, in cancerous ovarian tissues. The HPV type detected was HPV 6, with its genome integrated to the host genome in case of both invasive and borderline tumours and existed episomally in healthy controls. The patients with Chlamydia (odds ratio [OR] 32; 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.33, 307.65) and CMV infection (OR 8; 95% CI 0.888, 72.10) are at significantly higher risk of development of ovarian tumours. The present study validates the theory of chronic infections and inflammation in the pathogenesis of epithelial ovarian cancer. Further seroepidemiological studies and large fresh tissue sampling may represent the real prevalence of infections among ovarian carcinoma patients. This study is the first of its kind in detecting the bacterial and viral aetiologies in the development of ovarian carcinoma among Indian women.


Ovarian Carcinoma Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Ovarian Tissue Chlamydia Trachomatis Borderline Tumour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



K.N. is thankful to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR; 5/13/88/06/NCD-III) for providing financial support to carry out the research work. S.S. is thankful to the ICMR for providing the Senior Research Fellowship (3/2/2/63/2011/NCD-III). The authors greatly acknowledge the Vice-Chancellor of Bharathidasan University and Dr. V.J. Senthil, the Director of GVN Hospital, Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Shanmughapriya
    • 1
    • 3
  • G. SenthilKumar
    • 2
  • K. Vinodhini
    • 3
  • B. C. Das
    • 4
  • N. Vasanthi
    • 1
  • K. Natarajaseenivasan
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, School of Life SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  2. 2.Department of Surgical OncologyDr. G. Vishwanathan HospitalTiruchirappalliIndia
  3. 3.Medical Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, School of Life SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  4. 4.Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical ResearchUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

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