[Detection and genotyping of high-risk human papillomavirus in cervical specimens]

Jesús Chacón, Iziar Sanz, María Dolores Rubio, María Luisa de la Morena, Esperanza Díaz, María Luisa Mateos, Fernando Baquero
Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 2007, 25 (5): 311-6

INTRODUCTION: This study investigates the relationship between various human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes and the results of cytological and histological analysis of cervical samples using two complementary assays for HPV detection (hybrid capture and PCR). We studied the impact of HPV genotype on the presence of pre-cancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancer, as well as the association between HPV viral load and the presence of high-risk HPV as determined by PCR.

METHODS: A total of 272 women were studied. Most of them presented cellular alterations consistent with cervical lesions due to HPV and all had high-risk HPV as detected by hybrid capture testing. Histological studies were undertaken, and HPV genotyping by PCR based on microarrays was performed.

RESULTS: HPV-DNA was not detected or genotypes could not be identified by PCR in 22.06% of the patients. Genotype 16 and/or 18 was detected in 33% of 212 patients. Mixed infections with several genotypes were found in 25% of patients. The histological lesions associated with the various genotypes were as follows: genotype 16 and/or 18. were detected in 55.73% of the 61 patients with H-SIL and cancer, whereas these genotypes were detected in only 7.9% and 22% of women with ASCUS and L-SIL (P < 0.05). Viral load was less than 3 pg/mL in 12.13% of the women studied. In this group of patients, high-risk HPV was present in 39.39%. In the group of patients who had a viral load greater than 3 pg/mL, high risk-HPV was detected in 77.4% (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Genotypes 16 and/or 18 were detected in most patients with a diagnosis of H-SIL. Other high-risk-HPV genotypes were much less prevalent. Hybrid capture testing is a useful screening test. PCR was effective for identifying genotypes 16 and 18. Histological and cytological findings in cervical samples should be interpreted together with high-risk HPV detection.

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