Human papillomavirus 16 infections may pose variable cancer risk

Human papillomavirus 16 accounts for about half of all cervical cancers, but researchers have found that not all infections are equal. An analysis of the HPV16 genome from 5,570 human cell and tissue samples revealed that the virus actually consists of thousands of unique genomes, such that infected women living in the same region often have different HPV16 sequences and variable risks to cancer.