A high frequency of human papillomavirus DNA sequences in cervical carcinomas of Indian women as revealed by Southern blot hybridization and polymerase chain reaction

J Med Virol. 1992 Apr;36(4):239-45. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890360402.


Ninety-six colposcopically directed biopsies from squamous epithelial carcinoma of the uterine cervix and 22 age-matched normal control biopsy specimens were examined by both Southern blot hybridization and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of different human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA types. Cancer of the uterine cervix, which is the most common malignant disease in Indian women, showed a high frequency (98%) of HPV as compared to those reported from other parts of the world. HPV type 16 was found to be the dominant (64%) type while the frequency of HPV type 18 was very low (3%). On individual typing of HPV, no biopsy was found to contain any other known HPV types under stringent conditions of hybridization except a single case of HPV type 11. Only one case of double infection with HPV types 16 and 18 was recorded. Under low stringency conditions of hybridization with a mixed probe of HPV types 16 and 18, 29 additional biopsies were found to be positive. Southern blot hybridization alone detected HPV DNA in 92% of the cases but none in the controls. By PCR, six (6.25%) more cases and four (18.18%) healthy women were found to be positive for HPVs. Analysis of the physical state of HPV 16 indicated integration in about 70% of carcinoma cases while 30% of them were in episomal form. The findings suggest that infection with HPV is an important etiologic factor for the development of cervical cancer, that a number of such tumours may arise without HPV infection, and that integration of the viral DNA into host genome is not always essential for malignant progression.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Virus Infections / epidemiology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / microbiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology*


  • DNA, Viral