Molecular Diagnosis

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 73–83 | Cite as

Investigation into a Possible Association Between Oral Lichen Planus, the Human Herpesviruses, and the Human Papillomaviruses

  • Cathal ÓFlatharta
  • Stephen R. Flint
  • Mary Toner
  • David Butler
  • Mohamed J. E. M. F. Mabruk
Original Research Article


Background: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic relapsing cell-mediated condition of unknown etiology. The purpose of this study was to ascertain if the human herpesviruses (HHVs) or human papillomaviruses (HPVs) act as possible factors or co-factors in the pathogenesis of OLP.

Methods: Thirty-eight histologically confirmed OLP and 20 normal control buccal mucosa tissue samples were analyzed. Polymerase chain reaction analysis was employed to detect members of the HHV and HPV families.

Results: The Epstein-Barr virus and HHV-7 were detected in a small percentage of tissue samples. However, HPV-16 was detected in 26.3% of OLP samples and 0% of the normal control tissues. The epidermodysplasia verruciformis-related HPV types were detected in 42% of OLP samples and 45% of normal control samples.

Conclusion: The results of this study do not suggest a causative role for members of the HHV family in the pathology of OLP. However, a statistical association was found between HPV-16 presence and OLP.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Product Oral Lichen Planus Normal Oral Mucosa Normal Control Tissue Oral Lichen Planus Patient 
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.



The authors would like to thank Professor Mary Leader and Professor Elaine Kay from the Pathology Department of Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland for providing samples used in the study. In addition they would like to thank the Charitable Infirmary Charitable Trust, Ireland and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland for their financial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cathal ÓFlatharta
    • 1
  • Stephen R. Flint
    • 1
  • Mary Toner
    • 1
  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Mohamed J. E. M. F. Mabruk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyRCSI/Education and Research Centre, Beaumont HospitalDublinIreland

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