Pooled data on human papillomavirus (HPV) type distribution in invasive cervical cancer (ICC) can help to predict the potential impact of HPV type-specific vaccines and screening tests, and to understand the carcinogenicity of HPV types. We performed a meta-analysis of HPV type-specific prevalence data published from 1990 to 2010, including a total of 243 studies and 30,848 ICC. The proportion of ICC associated with HPV16 and/or 18 (HPV16/18) was between 70 and 76% in all world regions except Asia. In Western/Central Asia, 82% of ICC was HPV16/18-associated compared to only 68% in Eastern Asia. The 12 most common HPV types identified, in order of decreasing prevalence, were HPV16 (57%), 18 (16%), 58, 33, 45, 31, 52, 35, 59, 39, 51 and 56. The prevalence of other types, phylogenetically related to those above, ranged from <0.1% for HPV85 to 0.6% for HPV68. Overall HPV prevalence increased significantly from 85.9% in studies published from 1990 to 1999 to 92.9% in studies published from 2006 to 2010. Prevalence increases were large for multiple infections (from 4.0 to 15.7%) and for HPV16 (from 51.8 to 60.0%, including HPV16 alone or in multiple infections). Smaller but significant increases in prevalence were also seen for HPV39, 53 and 58. A large amount of recently published data has improved the understanding of the contribution of a broad range of HPV types to ICC in different world regions. However, estimating the fraction of ICC attributable to different types is increasingly complicated by the detection of multiple HPV infections in ICC.
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