Human papillomavirus prevalence and type-distribution, cervical cancer screening practices and current status of vaccination implementation in Central and Eastern Europe

Vaccine. 2013 Dec 31;31 Suppl 7:H59-70. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.03.029.


We present a review of current cervical cancer screening practices, the implementation status of vaccination against human papillomaviruses (HPV) and available data concerning the burden of HPV infection and HPV type-specific distribution in 16 Central and Eastern European countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia. Since published data were relatively scarce, two detailed surveys were conducted during August-October 2011 and in January 2013 to obtain relevant and updated information. The mean prevalence of HPV infection in 8610 women with normal cervical cytology from the region was 12.6%, with HPV16 being the most frequent HPV type. The overall HPV DNA prevalence in women with high-grade cervical lesions was 78.1%. HPV DNA was found in 86.6% of cervical cancers; the combined prevalence of HPV16/18 among HPV positive cases was 87.5%. The overall HPV DNA prevalence in genital warts and laryngeal papillomas was 94.8% and 95.2%, respectively, with HPV6 and HPV11 being the most frequent types. Opportunistic and organized cervical screening, mainly based on conventional cytology, is performed in nine and seven countries in the region, respectively, with the proposed age of the start of screening ranging from 20 to 30 years and the estimated coverage ranging from a few percent to over 70%. At least one of the current HPV prophylactic vaccines is registered in all Central and Eastern European countries except Montenegro. Only Bulgaria, Czech Republic, FYR Macedonia, Latvia, Romania and Slovenia have actually integrated HPV vaccination into their national immunization programme and currently provide routine vaccination free of charge to the primary target population. The key reasons for lack of implementation of HPV vaccination into the national immunization programme are high vaccine cost and negative public perception. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region" Vaccine Volume 31, Supplement 7, 2013. Updates of the progress in the field are presented in a separate monograph entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012.

Keywords: Central Europe; Cervical cancer; Eastern Europe; HPV; HPV vaccination; Screening.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe, Eastern
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Prevalence
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination / methods
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines