To examine conjunctival papilloma and normal conjunctival tissue for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV).
Archival paraffin wax‐embedded tissue from 165 conjunctival papillomas and from 20 histological normal conjunctival biopsy specimens was analysed for the presence of HPV by PCR. Specimens considered HPV positive using consensus primers, but with a negative or uncertain PCR result using type‐specific HPV probes, were analysed with DNA sequencing.
HPV was present in 86 of 106 (81%) β‐globin‐positive papillomas. HPV type 6 was positive in 80 cases, HPV type 11 was identified in 5 cases and HPV type 45 was present in a single papilloma. All the 20 normal conjunctival biopsy specimens were β‐globin positive and HPV negative.
There is a strong association between HPV and conjunctival papilloma. The study presents the largest material of conjunctival papilloma investigated for HPV and the first investigation of HPV in normal conjunctival tissue. HPV types 6 and 11 are the most common HPV types in conjunctival papilloma. This also is the first report of HPV type 45 in conjunctival papilloma.