OBJECTIVES: We wanted to compare detection of a broad spectrum of human papillomavirus (HPV) types detected in cellular specimens from the vagina and cervix, which could provide information about the potential of each anatomical site for harboring infection. Previous studies have failed to present data on or detect a broad spectrum of HPV genotypes and/or have not carefully sampled the vagina, instead relying on self-collection that is likely contaminated with cervical cells. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted follow-up study of 353 women who had participated in study of HPV and cervical neoplasia in Costa Rica. We collected paired cervical and vaginal specimens; vaginal specimens were collected from the fornix to minimize cervical contamination. Specimens were tested in a masked fashion for >40 HPV types using a MY09/MY11 PCR method and type-specific dot blot hybridization. RESULTS: The prevalence for any carcinogenic HPV type in vaginal and cervical specimens was similar (P = 0.3). However, the prevalence for any HPV type in vaginal specimens was greater than in cervical specimens (P = 0.0002), primarily due to a twofold increased vaginal prevalence of HPV types of the α3/α15 phylogenetic species (e.g., HPV61) (P <0.00005). CONCLUSIONS: Carcinogenic HPV types appeared to have a similar affinity for vaginal and cervical epithelium, but noncarcinogenic HPV types of the α3/α15 phylogenetic species may have a tropism for vaginal epithelium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases