Screening for Human Papillomavirus in a Low- and Middle-Income Country

J Glob Oncol. 2019 May:5:JGO1800233. doi: 10.1200/JGO.18.00233.


Purpose: Low- and middle-income countries have high incidences of cervical cancer linked to human papillomavirus (HPV), and without resources for cancer screenings these countries bear 85% of all cervical cancer cases. To address some of these needs, brigade-style screening combined with sensitive polymerase chain reaction-based HPV testing to detect common high-risk HPV genotypes may be necessary.

Methods: We deployed an inexpensive DNA extraction technique and a real-time polymerase chain reaction-based HPV genotyping assay, as well as Papanicolaou testing, in a factory in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where 1,732 women were screened for cervical cancer.

Results: We found that 28% of participants were positive for high-risk HPV, with 26% of HPV-positive participants having more than one HPV infection. Moreover, the most common HPV genotypes detected were different than those routinely found in the United States.

Conclusion: This work demonstrates a deployable protocol for HPV screening in low- and middle-income countries with limited resources to perform cytopathology assessment of Pap smears.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Honduras / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Molecular Typing
  • Papillomaviridae* / genetics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / etiology