Optimization of HPV DNA detection in urine by improving collection, storage, and extraction

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Nov;33(11):2005-14. doi: 10.1007/s10096-014-2147-2. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


The benefits of using urine for the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA have been evaluated in disease surveillance, epidemiological studies, and screening for cervical cancers in specific subgroups. HPV DNA testing in urine is being considered for important purposes, notably the monitoring of HPV vaccination in adolescent girls and young women who do not wish to have a vaginal examination. The need to optimize and standardize sampling, storage, and processing has been reported.In this paper, we examined the impact of a DNA-conservation buffer, the extraction method, and urine sampling on the detection of HPV DNA and human DNA in urine provided by 44 women with a cytologically normal but HPV DNA-positive cervical sample. Ten women provided first-void and midstream urine samples. DNA analysis was performed using real-time PCR to allow quantification of HPV and human DNA.The results showed that an optimized method for HPV DNA detection in urine should (a) prevent DNA degradation during extraction and storage, (b) recover cell-free HPV DNA in addition to cell-associated DNA, (c) process a sufficient volume of urine, and (d) use a first-void sample.In addition, we found that detectable human DNA in urine may not be a good internal control for sample validity. HPV prevalence data that are based on urine samples collected, stored, and/or processed under suboptimal conditions may underestimate infection rates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Urine / virology*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral