Biases in human papillomavirus genotype prevalence assessment associated with commonly used consensus primers

Int J Cancer. 2006 Jan 1;118(1):243-5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.21299.


Consensus primers targeting human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have biases in sensitivity toward certain HPV types. We applied 3 primer sets (GP5+/6+, MY09/11, PGMY09/11) in parallel on 120 Chinese cervical cancer specimens. GP5+/6+ exhibited a poor sensitivity for HPV52, for which the prevalence among squamous cell cervical cancer was underestimated from 14.6% to 0%. The fact that HPV52 should rank second in prevalence among squamous cell cervical carcinoma in Hong Kong could be missed if GP5+/6+, a worldwide commonly used primer set, was selected for HPV detection. Biases in HPV type-specific sensitivity may result in misprioritization of vaccine candidates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • DNA Primers*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics*
  • Papillomaviridae / pathogenicity
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / genetics
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology


  • Cancer Vaccines
  • DNA Primers