VOL. 9, No. 1/2, December 2014

P. N. Vinodbhai [2014] Med. Hypotheses Res. 9: 51-62.

Manipulation of Sexual Behavior in Humans by Human
Papilloma Virus

Abstract. Parasites often alter the behavior of their host to facilitate transmission.
Sexually transmitted infections in humans may offer an opportunity to explore this area
further as the causative agents are under rigorous selection pressure to manipulate the sexual
behavior of the host for their own evolutionary advantage. In recent time sexually
transmitted pathogens like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Herpes simplex have
been speculated to induce similar changes in the human host. Human papilloma virus (HPV),
which is leading cause of cervical cancers, may be the one of the best candidates to study
such manipulations in humans. Limited modes of transmission and cultural constraints in
orthodox societies where sexuality is still a taboo may put the virus under immense selection
pressure to manipulate the host sexual behavior and large number of available mutational
variants within the host may actually support the entire process. HPV which has evolved to
spread through oral sex and open mouth kissing has been confirmed as the major culprit for
the rising oral cancer cases in Western World. HPV has been also linked to breast and
prostate cancer. HPV was found in many cases of Retinoblastoma among the children of
India and USA which proves its ability to infect neurons too. Infection in brain provides with
ample opportunity to manipulate neuronal circuits that may influence sexual behavior
directly or indirectly. Considering the versatility of HPV to colonize various sites in Human
Body and most recently human brain I hypothesize that HPV can manipulate sexual
behavior in Humans when the chances of transmission are very thin even in the entire lifetime
of the host.

Correspondence: Dr. Pandey Nitesh Vinodbhai, Indian Astrobiology Research Centre,
Mandpeshwar Post Office (Box # 8482), Borivli, Mumbai 400103, Maharashtra, India.