Previous studies among women worldwide have demonstrated that infection with specific types of human papillomaviruses (HPV) is central to the pathogenesis of cervical neoplasia. There is little data, however, concerning the prevalence of specific HPV types and the association of each type with cervical neoplasia among women in sub-Saharan Africa, who remain at very high risk of cervical cancer. We studied 2,065 consecutive patients aged 35 years or older, presenting to community health clinics in Dakar and Pikine, West Africa, who had not been screened previously for cytologic abnormalities or HPV. Cytologic diagnosis and HPV detection were accomplished using a ThinPrep Pap and a polymerase chain reaction-based reverse-line strip assay, respectively. Odds ratios (OR) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using polynomial logistic regression. Cytologic abnormalities were found in 426 women (20%), including 254 (12%) with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, 86 (4%) with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, 66 (3%) with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) and 20 (1%) with invasive cancer. HPV infection was detected in 18%. Among women with negative cytologic findings, the prevalence of high risk but not low risk HPV types increased with age. HPV16 (2.4%) and HPV58 (1.6%) were the most frequently detected HPV types in this population, as well as being the most strongly associated with risk of HSIL/cancer (HPV16: OR = 88, 95% CI = 39-200; HPV58: OR = 51, 95% CI = 16-161). These data suggest that in addition to HPV16, HPV58 should be considered in the strategic planning of vaccination against cervical cancer in this geographic region.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.