Background: Persistent infection with high-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes is required for the development of cervical carcinoma, and integration of HPV testing into cervical screening programs is under investigation. For the clinical value of HPV testing to be fully established, genotyping studies are needed to identify HR HPV persistence in samples of known cytology and histology, and to determine the relationship with clinical outcome. To date, methods for genotyping have been research-based, and subject to variation. The availability of the Roche prototype line blot assay (LBA) offers a PCR-based, reproducible genotyping method, with a 37-type target spectrum and many potential applications.
Methods: We applied the LBA to determine persistence of HR HPV in 54 women with low-grade histology. Median interval between genotyping was 12.5 months (range 5-48).
Results: All 15 lesions that progressed to CIN3 (PD) were associated with HR HPV persistence. Regression of lesions (REM) was observed in 31 HPV+ women, of whom nine had clearance of existing HPV infections, with one patient then acquiring additional types. Eight HPV+ patients had no change in lesions observed (NC). Persistence of HPV type 16 was more common in the PD group (60%), compared with the REM group (27%) and the NC group (38%).
Conclusion: Our results show that the LBA is a useful tool to identify HPV persistence patterns under anonymized conditions, with potential for research and clinical studies.