Detection and genotyping of human papillomavirus in self-obtained cervicovaginal samples by using the FTA cartridge: new possibilities for cervical cancer screening

J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Aug;47(8):2564-70. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00285-09. Epub 2009 Jun 24.


This study assesses human papillomavirus (HPV) detection and genotyping in self-sampled genital smears applied to an indicating FTA elute cartridge (FTA cartridge). The study group consisted of 96 women, divided into two sample sets. All samples were analyzed by the HPV SPF(10)-Line Blot 25. Set 1 consisted of 45 women attending the gynecologist; all obtained a self-sampled cervicovaginal smear, which was applied to an FTA cartridge. HPV results were compared to a cervical smear (liquid based) taken by a trained physician. Set 2 consisted of 51 women who obtained a self-sampled cervicovaginal smear at home, which was applied to an FTA cartridge and to a liquid-based medium. DNA was obtained from the FTA cartridges by simple elution as well as extraction. Of all self-obtained samples of set 1, 62.2% tested HPV positive. The overall agreement between self- and physician-obtained samples was 93.3%, in favor of the self-obtained samples. In sample set 2, 25.5% tested HPV positive. The overall agreement for high-risk HPV presence between the FTA cartridge and liquid-based medium and between DNA elution and extraction was 100%. This study shows that HPV detection and genotyping in self-obtained cervicovaginal samples applied to an FTA cartridge is highly reliable. It shows a high level of overall agreement with HPV detection and genotyping in physician-obtained cervical smears and liquid-based self-samples. DNA can be obtained by simple elution and is therefore easy, cheap, and fast. Furthermore, the FTA cartridge is a convenient medium for collection and safe transport at ambient temperatures. Therefore, this method may contribute to a new way of cervical cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervix Uteri / virology*
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / classification*
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vagina / virology*
  • Vaginal Smears / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral