HPV detection and genotyping as an earlier approach in cervical cancer screening of the female genital tract

Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2008;35(3):175-8.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the leading risk factor for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer. More than 100 virus genotypes have been identified so far, some of them strongly associated with the development of neoplasia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of the different HPV genotypes in women presenting no cytological alterations in cervical cells, in women presenting light alterations, and in women presenting severe alterations at routine gynecological examination. We retrospectively analyzed 97 HPV results of women submitted to cervical cancer screening compared to their Papanicolaou and colposcopy examinations. Data were analyzed individually and within groups to correlate the HPV genotypes identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the respective alterations in cervical cells. Among the nine cases diagnosed as CIN I (9.3%), two were positive for low-risk HPV genotypes (22%), and the other seven were negative for HPV by PCR (78%). CIN II or CIN III diagnoses were associated with positive HPV results by PCR in four cases (36%), for high-risk as well as low-risk genotypes. There were two patients with severe cytological alterations in cervical cells, but with an indeterminate HPV genotype (18%), and one case with a negative HPV result (9%). Among the 57 cases without cytological alterations, seven were positive for low-risk HPV (12%) and two for high-risk HPV genotypes (3.5%). In the 48 remaining cases, we observed one with an indeterminate HPV genotype (2%), and the other 47 were negative for HPV by PCR (47%). Our study demonstrates an important prevalence of high- and low-risk HPV genotypes in our population, including those not present in the commercially available vaccine, even in patients with no evidence of cytological alterations in cervical cells. These results highlight the usefulness of HPV detection and typing as an early approach for cervical cancer screening and prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alphapapillomavirus* / genetics
  • Alphapapillomavirus* / isolation & purification
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / diagnosis
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / virology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*
  • Vaginal Smears