Viral load of high-risk human papillomavirus in cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2002 Jan;76(1):41-7. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7292(01)00529-x.


Objectives: This case-control study was conducted to investigate the role of viral load of high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) in the development of cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) and invasive cancers.

Methods: A total of 30 female cases who had histological evidence of low-grade SIL (n=10) or high-grade SIL and above (n=20) were identified as the case group at the Tri-Service General Hospital, Taipei between September 1998 and March 1999. In addition, 80 female controls who had normal cervical cytology were enrolled and individually matched on age (+/-5 years) and date of recruitment to each case. Cervical swabs collected from study subjects were tested for the positivity and viral load of high-risk HPVs by Hybrid Capture II assay. Additionally, subjects completed a risk factor questionnaire.

Results: Among sex behavioral factors studied, younger age at first intercourse was associated with a significantly elevated risk of cervical SIL and invasive cancers. With respect to HPV infection, high-risk HPV DNA was present in 70% (21/30) of case and 21% (17/80) of control subjects, resulting in an odds ratio (OR) of 6.6 [95% confidence interval (C.I.)=2.6-17.0]. Moreover, women who had a high viral load were at significantly greater risk for cervical SIL and invasive cancers than those who were infected with a low viral load (OR=18.0, 95% C.I.=3.0-108.5).

Conclusions: Among the variables tested, infection with a high viral load of high-risk HPVs is the strongest determinant for cervical SIL and cervical cancers in Taiwan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / etiology*
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / physiopathology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / virology*
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomaviridae / pathogenicity*
  • Papillomaviridae / physiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / physiopathology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / complications*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / physiopathology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*
  • Viral Load*