The distribution of Human Papilloma Virus infection in women with cervical histological abnormalities from an area with high incidence of cervical cancer

Bahiru Ergicho Fanta
Ethiopian Medical Journal 2005, 43 (3): 151-8

BACKGROUND: Cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer among women in the developing countries. Many epidemiological studies have shown that more than 90% of cancers of the cervix are attributed to infection by oncogenic human papilloma viruses. Though, the distribution of Human papilloma virus in a population has been studied worldwide, there is no single study done up to now on this subject in Ethiopia.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to investigate the presence and distribution of Human Papilloma Virus infecting women with cervical abnormalities and furnish base line information to design future vaccination strategies suitable for the Ethiopian population.

METHODOLOGY: A retrospective molecular pathologic analysis for Human Papilloma Virus was done on 284 formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded cervical biopsy specimens bearing different histopathologic abnormalities collected over five years period from the department of pathology of Gondar College of Medical Sciences, Gondar, Ethiopia. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based Human Papilloma Virus DNA detection and a nucleotide sequencing based Human Papilloma Virus typing was done at Max-Burger Research Institute, Leipzig, Germany.

RESULTS: Human papilloma virus was found in 263 of the 284-biopsy specimens (92.60%) and Human Papilloma Virus type 16 was identified to be the most frequent genotype accounting for more than 76% of all HPV species.

RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended that a wide population based epidemiological study is mandatory to define the exact picture of this disease in this country and a suitable vaccine targeting mainly HPV 16 will have a substantial impact on cervical cancer control in Ethiopia.

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