Background: Anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and anal dysplasia are frequent in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (HIV+MSM), and progression of low-grade (LSIL) to high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) or anal cancer (AC) occurs faster than in HIV-negative individuals. High-risk (HR)-HPV-E6/E7 oncogene mRNA testing has a higher specificity and a higher positive predictive value (PPV) than HR-HPV-DNA testing for detecting high-grade cervical lesions.
Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the NucliSENS-EasyQ HPV1.1 E6/E7-mRNA-assay for the detection of anal dysplasia in HIV+MSM.
Study design: 289 intraanal swabs from HIV+MSM participating in a screening program that included anal cytology, high-resolution anoscopy and histology were analyzed. HR-HPV-DNA detection was performed by PCR and hybridization using a bead-based multiplex genotyping assay. E6/E7-mRNA detection of HR-HPV-types 16, 18, 31, 33 and 45 was performed using the NucliSENS-EasyQ assay.
Results: 269 swabs had valid results in both test formats (111 normal, 10 ASCUS, 105 LSIL, 42 HSIL, 1 AC). For the detection of LSIL+(LSIL+HSIL+cancer) sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value (NPV) and PPV were 80.4%, 26.4%, 52.5%, and 57.2% for HR-HPV-DNA testing, respectively, compared to 75.7%, 57.9%, 66.0% and 68.7% for E6/E7-mRNA testing. The respective values for the detection of HSIL/cancer were 95.3%, 26.1%, 96.7%, 19.7% for HR-HPV-DNA and 95.3%, 46.0%, 98.1%, 25.2% for E6/E7-mRNA detection.
Conclusion: Compared to HR-HPV-DNA detection, E6/E7-mRNA testing has an increased specificity (approximately two-fold), similar sensitivity and higher NPV and PPV for the detection of low- and high-grade anal dysplasia in HIV+MSM.
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