A longitudinal study of genital human papillomavirus infection in a cohort of closely followed adolescent women

J Infect Dis. 2005 Jan 15;191(2):182-92. doi: 10.1086/426867. Epub 2004 Dec 10.


Background: We performed a study to better characterize the natural history of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in a cohort of closely followed adolescent women.

Methods: A cohort of 60 adolescent women was followed over a 2.2-year period, on average. A median of 41.5 self-collected vaginal and clinician-obtained cervical swabs were obtained from each subject.

Results: HPV was detected in 45.3% of all adequate specimens, by use of a polymerase chain reaction/reverse blot strip assay. Oncogenic--or high-risk (HR)--HPV types were detected in 38.6% of specimens, and nononcogenic--or low-risk (LR)--types were detected in 19.6% of specimens. During the entire study period, 49 of 60 subjects tested positive for HPV (cumulative prevalence, 81.7%). The most frequently detected HR types were HPV types 52, 16, and 59. Infections with multiple HPV types were common. The median duration of persistence of a specific HPV type was 168 days, and HR types were more persistent than LR types. Abnormal cervical cytological results occurred in 37% of the adolescent women and were significantly associated with HR HPV infection.

Conclusions: The cumulative prevalence of HPV infection in sexually active adolescent women is extremely high, involves numerous HPV types, and frequently results in cervical dysplasia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / etiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Prevalence
  • Tumor Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / etiology
  • Uterine Cervical Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Diseases / virology
  • Vaginal Smears