Evaluation of a multiplex real time PCR assay for the detection of human papillomavirus infections on self-collected cervicovaginal lavage samples

J Virol Methods. 2013 Oct;193(1):131-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 May 23.


Self-collection of cervical samples for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing can help to raise the participation rate in cervical cancer screening among non-responders. This study was conducted to compare the analytical and clinical performance of the Abbott RealTime High-Risk HPV Test (RealTime) with the Hybrid Capture 2 assay (HC2) on self-collected cervicovaginal lavage samples. One hundred samples from women referred for colposcopy (reference smears and biopsies in case of abnormalities) were included. Fifty-seven women had a normal cytology, 27 had low grade and 16 had high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. Fourteen of 49 biopsies (28.6%) were benign, 14 (28.6%) cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1, 11 (22.4%) cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2, 8 (16.3%) cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 and 2 (4.1%) invasive cancer. The agreement between RealTime and HC2 in the self-collected and in the reference samples was 85% (κ=0.665) and 83% (κ=0.620), respectively. The agreement between self-sampling and the reference smears was higher with RealTime (93%; κ=0.849) than with HC2 (89%; κ=0.741). In the self-collected samples, the sensitivity and specificity for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or worse of RealTime/HC2 were 81.0%/66.7% (p=0.25) and 53.6%/57.1%, respectively. The sensitivity for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 or worse of RealTime and HC2 were 80.0% and 70.0% (p=1.0). The specificity for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 or worse was 43.6% (RealTime) and 51.3% (HC2). This study shows that RealTime can be used for HR-HPV testing of self-collected lavage samples in a referral population with at least equal quality and performance as HC2.

Keywords: Abbott RealTime High Risk HPV Test; Cervical cancer; Cohen's kappa; HC2; HPV; HR-HPV; Human papillomavirus; Hybrid capture 2 HPV test; PCR; RLU/CO; RealTime; Self-sampling; high-risk human papillomavirus; human papillomavirus; polymerase chain reaction; relative light units over cutoff ratio; κ.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Self-Examination / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Virology / methods*
  • Young Adult