Performance of a Cartridge-Based Assay for Detection of Clinically Significant Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection: Lessons from VALGENT (Validation of HPV Genotyping Tests)

J Clin Microbiol. 2016 Sep;54(9):2337-42. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00897-16. Epub 2016 Jul 6.


The Validation of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Genotyping Tests (VALGENT) studies offer an opportunity to clinically validate HPV assays for use in primary screening for cervical cancer and also provide a framework for the comparison of analytical and type-specific performance. Through VALGENT, we assessed the performance of the cartridge-based Xpert HPV assay (Xpert HPV), which detects 14 high-risk (HR) types and resolves HPV16 and HPV18/45. Samples from women attending the United Kingdom cervical screening program enriched with cytologically abnormal samples were collated. All had been previously tested by a clinically validated standard comparator test (SCT), the GP5+/6+ enzyme immunoassay (EIA). The clinical sensitivity and specificity of the Xpert HPV for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or higher (CIN2+) and CIN3+ relative to those of the SCT were assessed as were the inter- and intralaboratory reproducibilities according to international criteria for test validation. Type concordance for HPV16 and HPV18/45 between the Xpert HPV and the SCT was also analyzed. The Xpert HPV detected 94% of CIN2+ and 98% of CIN3+ lesions among all screened women and 90% of CIN2+ and 96% of CIN3+ lesions in women 30 years and older. The specificity for CIN1 or less (≤CIN1) was 83% (95% confidence interval [CI], 80 to 85%) in all women and 88% (95% CI, 86 to 91%) in women 30 years and older. Inter- and intralaboratory agreements for the Xpert HPV were 98% and 97%, respectively. The kappa agreements for HPV16 and HPV18/45 between the clinically validated reference test (GP5+/6+ LMNX) and the Xpert HPV were 0.92 and 0.91, respectively. The clinical performance and reproducibility of the Xpert HPV are comparable to those of well-established HPV assays and fulfill the criteria for use in primary cervical cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Genotyping Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / classification*
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United Kingdom
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult