Defining type-specific human papillomavirus (HPV) infections within cervical tissues is important for understanding the pathogenesis of cervical neoplasia and assessing the effectiveness of prophylactic vaccines with limited type-specific spectra. We compared HPV DNA-testing results from 146 matched exfoliated-cell and formalin-fixed-tissue specimens collected by cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) within 90 days of each other from women with histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial lesions (CIN). The CVL specimens were HPV typed using a MY09/11 L1 consensus primer PCR method followed by dot blot hybridization. The tissue specimens were HPV typed using an SPF10 line probe assay HPV detection system. Of the 146 specimen pairs with evidence of CIN in the tissue, 91.8% were positive for one or more HPV types in both the tissue and cellular specimens. Tissue sections were more likely to be HPV negative (P < 0.01). Typing directly from tissue sections resolved multiple infections detected in exfoliated cells to a single HPV type in only 46.9% of cases. Combined use of both specimen types to attribute lesions to HPV type 16 (HPV-16) and/or -18 led to 43.1% attributed to HPV-16 and/or -18 by both specimen types and 19.9% attributed to HPV-16 and/or -18 by one, but not both, specimen types. Unambiguous attribution of cervical lesions to a single, specific HPV type remains a difficult proposition. Use of multiple specimen types or the development of highly sensitive and robust in situ hybridization HPV-testing methods to evaluate the certainty of attribution of lesions to HPV types might provide insights in future efforts, including HPV vaccine trials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)