Purpose: For poorly understood reasons, invasive cervical cancer (ICC) incidence and mortality rates are higher in women of African descent. Oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes distribution may vary between European American (EA) and African-American (AA) women and may contribute to differences in ICC incidence. The current study aimed at disentangling differences in HPV distribution among AA and EA women.
Methods: Five-hundred and seventy-two women were enrolled at the time of colposcopic evaluation following an abnormal liquid-based cytology screen. HPV infections were detected using HPV linear array, and chi-squared tests and linear regression models were used to compare HPV genotypes across racial/ethnic groups by CIN status.
Results: Of the 572 participants, 494 (86 %) had detectable HPV; 245 (43 %) had no CIN lesion, 239 (42 %) had CIN1, and 88 (15 %) had CIN2/3. Seventy-three percent of all women were infected with multiple HPV genotypes. After adjusting for race, age, parity, income, oral contraception use, and current smoking, AAs were two times less likely to harbor HPV 16/18 (OR 0.48, 95 % CI 0.21-0.94, p = 0.03) when all women were considered. This association remained unchanged when only women with CIN2/3 lesions were examined (OR 0.22, 95 % CI 0.05-0.95, p = 0.04). The most frequent high-risk HPV genotypes detected among EAs were 16, 18, 56, 39, and 66, while HPV genotypes 33, 35, 45, 58, and 68 were the most frequent ones detected in AAs.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that while HPV 16/18 are the most common genotypes among EA women with CIN, AAs may harbor different genotypes.