Evaluation of human papillomavirus DNA detection in samples obtained for routine Chlamydia trachomatis screening

J Clin Virol. 2015 Mar:64:88-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2015.01.008. Epub 2015 Jan 13.


Background: The costs and logistics involved in obtaining samples is a bottleneck in large-scale studies of the circulation of human papillomavirus (HPV), which are useful for monitoring and optimisation of HPV-vaccination programs. Residual samples obtained after screening for Chlamydia trachomatis could constitute a convenient, low-cost solution.

Objectives: We evaluated HPV DNA detection and typing using (i) the residual samples routinely taken for C. trachomatis screening or (ii) the sample types used in large-scale phase III HPV vaccination trials (cervical, vulvar, labial, perineal, perianal, scrotal and penile shaft samples).

Study design: Samples from 127 men and 110 women attending two sexual health clinics were analysed using PCR for HPV DNA, with typing using mass spectrometry.

Results: The HPV DNA prevalence was 7.1% in male urine samples, but 57.3% in female urine/vaginal samples, which was even higher than the HPV prevalence found in cervical samples (54.1%). The sensitivity for HPV DNA detection in the urine/vaginal samples was 7.9% (95% CI 3.0-16.4) for men and 78.9% (95% CI 67.6-87.7) for women, using detection in any one of the reference samples as reference. With cervical samples as reference, the sensitivity was 89.3 % (95% CI 78.1-95.9).

Conclusions: Among men, low sensitivity of urine for HPV detection suggests limited usefulness. Among women, the high sensitivity of urine/vaginal samples for HPV detection suggests a useful low-cost solution for the study of HPV epidemiology.

Keywords: Human papillomavirus DNA detection; Human papillomavirus prevalence; Sampling technique evaluation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervix Uteri / virology
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Human Papillomavirus DNA Tests* / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urine / virology
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral