Comparison of three human papillomavirus DNA detection methods: Next generation sequencing, multiplex-PCR and nested-PCR followed by Sanger based sequencing

J Med Virol. 2016 May;88(5):888-94. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24413. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


To compare the diagnostic performance for HPV infection using three laboratorial techniques. Ninty-five cervicovaginal samples were randomly selected; each was tested for HPV DNA and genotypes using 3 methods in parallel: Multiplex-PCR, the Nested PCR followed by Sanger sequencing, and the Next_Gen Sequencing (NGS) with two assays (NGS-A1, NGS-A2). The study was approved by the Brazilian National IRB (CONEP protocol 16,800). The prevalence of HPV by the NGS assays was higher than that using the Multiplex-PCR (64.2% vs. 45.2%, respectively; P = 0.001) and the Nested-PCR (64.2% vs. 49.5%, respectively; P = 0.003). NGS also showed better performance in detecting high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) and HPV16. There was a weak interobservers agreement between the results of Multiplex-PCR and Nested-PCR in relation to NGS for the diagnosis of HPV infection, and a moderate correlation for HR-HPV detection. Both NGS assays showed a strong correlation for detection of HPVs (k = 0.86), HR-HPVs (k = 0.91), HPV16 (k = 0.92) and HPV18 (k = 0.91). NGS is more sensitive than the traditional Sanger sequencing and the Multiplex PCR to genotype HPVs, with promising ability to detect multiple infections, and may have the potential to establish an alternative method for the diagnosis and genotyping of HPV.

Keywords: diagnosis; diagnostic techniques; laboratory tests; obstetrical and gynecological; papillomavirus infections.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Cervix Uteri / virology
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Genotyping Techniques / methods
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vagina / virology


  • DNA, Viral