Study to investigate the prevalence of human papillomavirus in Barrett's oesophagus using a novel screening methodology

Jonathan Richard White, Krish Ragunath, Aimee Whitton, Elizabeth Marsh, Philip Kaye, Gillian Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Human papillomavirus (HPV) is strongly associated with Barrett's dysplasia and oesophageal cancer suggesting a role in carcinogenesis. HPV persistence predicts treatment failure after endotherapy for Barrett's dysplasia. This pilot study applies a novel HPV screening tool (previously only used in the oropharynx) to detect HPV DNA directly and determine the prevalence rates in Barrett's oesophagus (BO). Method DNA was extracted from 20 formalin-fixed BO samples. HPV DNA was detected using real-time PCR and gel electrophoresis. Results 5 out of 20 patients were identified as positive for HPV. Prevalence was 25% in patients with BO. Conclusion This method can be used in BO's tissue to determine HPV infection. Adoption of this as a screening test could potentially revolutionise future research in this area. If a clear link between HPV and Barrett's dysplasia can be confirmed, this qPCR method has the potential to aid in monitoring and/or dysplasia detection by stratifying those most at risk and aid in the development of new therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000840
JournalBMJ open gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:


  • Barrett Esophagus - diagnosis - epidemiology
  • Barrett's oesophagus
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Alphapapillomavirus
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae - genetics
  • Pilot Projects
  • oesophageal cancer
  • Papillomaviridae/genetics
  • Barrett Esophagus/diagnosis


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