Background: Human papillomavirus detection is very important for the evaluation of prevention strategies in cervical cancer. In the Azorean population, the virus prevalence has never been studied, and there is no data available to preview a successful outcome with HPV vaccination. In this article, our objective is to characterise the HPV genotypes in Terceira Island, contributing for the epidemiological knowledge on the virus infection.
Results: Cervical samples were collected from 289 women aged 16-81 in the Gynaecological Outpatient Clinic of the Hospital de Santo Espírito de Angra do Heroísmo (HSEAH). HPV DNA was amplified by Polymerase Chain Reaction using the general consensus primers PGMYO9/PGMY11. Commercially available Papillomavirus Clinical Arrays kits (Genomica) were used to perform HPV genotyping. 30 women were HPV positive, with a median age of 41 years old. Our results show that the overall HPV prevalence was 10.49%. Seventeen genotypes were identified, including 58.82% high risk, 17.65% low risk and 23.53% undetermined risk.
Conclusion: Unlike other epidemiological studies, HPV31 was the most frequent type (26.67%) in Terceira Island, followed by HPV16 (10.00%), HPV51, HPV53, HPV70 and HPV82 (6.67%). Further studies are needed to investigate if the HPV types found in our population are associated with the risk of progression to high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or cervical cancer.