The detection of DNA of the helper virus-dependent adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV-2) in biopsies of material from spontaneous abortion and in tissue samples from the uterus raises the question of whether sequences of known helper viruses can be detected simultaneously within the same specimen despite the lack of histological evidence for the presence of lytic viruses. Therefore, we performed PCR analyses with primers detecting DNA sequences of viruses (adenovirus, herpes simplex virus and human cytomegalovirus) known for their helper activity in the replication of adeno-associated viruses. In addition, PCR was performed to detect DNA of human papillomaviruses (HPV), which were recently shown to be able to help AAV replication in vitro. In no cases were sequences of the known helper viruses found. However, HPV DNA was detected in approximately 60% of paraffin sections from uterus biopsies and cervical lesions containing AAV DNA and in approximately 70% of material from early miscarriage. This finding suggests that HPV may be a helper virus for AAV.


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