Evaluation of genital sites and sampling techniques for detection of human papillomavirus DNA in men

J Infect Dis. 2004 Feb 15;189(4):677-85. doi: 10.1086/381395. Epub 2004 Jan 29.


To evaluate methods for detection of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in men, samples were obtained from 3 consecutive groups of 10 men attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic by use of (1) a saline-wetted Dacron swab alone, (2) a saline-wetted cytobrush, or (3) emery paper (600A-grit Wetordry Tri-M-ite; 3M) abrasion followed by a saline-wetted Dacron swab. By use of a polymerase chain reaction-based assay, 45% of emery-paper samples were found to be positive for beta-globin, compared with 23% of swab-alone and 0% of cytobrush samples. Subsequently, emery paper and saline-wetted Dacron swabs were used to obtain penile shaft, glans, foreskin, and scrotum samples from 318 male university students. Urine samples were also obtained. Of 1323 samples tested, 1288 (97%) were found to be positive for beta-globin. HPV DNA was detected in samples from 104 men (33%): 24% from the penile shaft, 16% from the glans, 28% from the foreskin, 17% from the scrotum, and 6% in urine. The HPV prevalence was similar for circumcised and uncircumcised men. Testing multiple sites increased the number of men for whom HPV DNA was detected.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circumcision, Male
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Penis / virology
  • Scrotum / virology
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Tumor Virus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Urine / virology


  • DNA, Viral