Young women are at the maximum risk of Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which are asymptomatic in a majority of cases and spontaneously get cleared. Women in the age between 20 and 35 years are more active sexually and especially in the developing nations, this age group forms a major cohort among the population of pregnant women. The changed hormonal milieu and immune response during pregnancy might favor presence or persistence of HPV infection, while at the same time natural clearance also takes place during pregnancy with an unknown mechanism. Various HPVs have been reported to be associated with preterm rupture of membranes (PROM), fetal growth restriction (FGR), preeclampsia, placental abnormalities and preterm delivery in several populations. The risk factors involved in the intrauterine environment affects fetal development and thus increase the development risk of specific diseases in adult life as per the hypothesis of the fetal origins of adult disease (FOAD). The structural and molecular changes in the feto-maternal interface support and protect the semiallogeneic fetus from immune-mediated or inflammatory injury. On the other hand, the trophoblast cells of placenta facilitate the replication of HPV and the affliction of placenta and the vaginal infection can directly be associated with pregnancy outcomes. So, to optimize better child health care and reproductive outcomes, HPV screening might help during pregnancy. It is therefore important to understand how the HPV is affecting the early pregnancy and immune cells within the feto-maternal interface are educated for self-clearance to fulfill their biological functions or prevalence to affect the pregnancy outcomes and how the persistence of HR-HPV infection overtime increases the development of cervical cancer risk.
Part of the book: Human Papillomavirus