A total of 336 biopsies, scrapes and exfoliated cells from the cervix and from the lower genital tract were screened for human papilloma (HP) viral sequences of types 6, 11, 16 and 18 by Southern blot, dot blot and filter in situ (FISH) hybridizations with cloned 32P-radiolabeled HPV DNA probes. The specimens included cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN I-III), carcinoma in situ and invasive carcinoma of the cervix and vagina, adenocarcinomas, vulvar and vaginal condylomata acuminata and healthy epithelial samples. The oncogenic HPV 16 was found in 46% of the cervical carcinomas. Most of the type 16 occurrences (75%) represented the third stage of inoperable cases. Similarly, HPV 18 was also most frequently present in this stage as well as in carcinoma in situ and in CIN III (25%, 18%). At the same time, in condylomata acuminata, types 6 and 11 were detectable in 88.7% of cares. In all, 13.5% of the normal samples harboured HPV DNA.