We have investigated the replication and persistence of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 6 and 11 DNA in cultured cells derived from laryngeal papillomas, with paradoxical findings. Measured by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation into heavy/light DNA separated on a cesium chloride gradient, viral DNA replicates in both primary and secondary cells. The ratio of the fraction of replicated viral to replicated cellular DNA was equal to or greater than 1 in all but one case and was closer to 2 in primary cells. Despite this efficient replication, HPV DNA is rapidly lost from the cells with passage. We propose that infected cells, or those with a high HPV copy number, show a selective decrease in plating efficiency compared to uninfected cells or those with a low copy number, which explains the loss of HPV DNA with repeated passage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas