Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Associated with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Jordanian Patients

Ashraf I. Khasawneh1, *, Nisreen Himsawi1, Jumana Abu-Raideh1, Muna Salameh2, Niveen Abdullah3, Rame Khasawneh4, Tareq Saleh1
1 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, 13133, Jordan
2 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Al-Balqa' Applied University, Al-Salt, 19117, Jordan
3 King Hussein Cancer Center, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Amman, 11941, Jordan
4 Department of Hematopathology, King Hussein Medical Center (KHMC), Jordan Royal Medical Services (RMS), Amman, 11733, Jordan

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© 2020 Khasawneh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, 13133, Jordan; Tel: +962 (5) 3903333; Fax: +962 (5) 3826613; E-mail:



In addition to smoking and alcohol consumption, human papillomavirus (HPV) is a leading etiology for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC). However, this causal association is still understudied in Middle Eastern populations.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HPV-associated infection in the Jordanian HNSCC patients and the associated HPV genotypes.


Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) squamous cell carcinoma samples of the head and neck were collected from two referral centers in Amman, Jordan to determine the existence of HPV DNA. After DNA extraction HPV infection and genotyping were identified using real-time PCR.


HPV DNA was detected in 19 out of 61 (31.1%) HNSCC samples. Despite screening for 28 different genotypes, HPV 16 was the only genotype identified in all examined samples. Most HPV-positive samples were obtained from the oropharynx (41.7%), oral cavity (37%), and larynx (18.2%). No significant association between HPV 16 genotype and age, sex, tobacco use, anatomical location, or tumor grade was noticed.


This study reported a high association between HPV 16 genotype and HNSCC in Jordanian patients. These data should facilitate the implementation of appropriate HPV awareness campaigns, and activate selective prophylactic measures against HPV infection.

Keywords: : Prevalence, HNSCC, Oropharyngeal, Laryngeal, HPV 16, Papillomavirus.