Comparison of the digene HC2 assay and the roche AMPLICOR human papillomavirus (HPV) test for detection of high-risk HPV genotypes in cervical samples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many different methods with different sensitivity and specificity have been proposed to detect the presence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV) in cervical samples. The HC2 is one of the most widely used. Recently, a new standardized PCR-based method, the AMPLICOR HPV test, has been introduced. Both assays recognize the same 13 HR HPV genotypes. The performances of these two commercially available assays were compared in 167 consecutive women (for a total of 168 samples) who presented at the Colposcopy Clinic either for a follow-up or for a diagnostic visit. Concordant results were found in 140/168 cervical samples (overall agreement, 83%; Cohen's kappa = 0.63). Twenty-eight samples gave discordant results: 20 were positive with the AMPLICOR HPV test and negative with the HC2 assay, and 8 were negative with the AMPLICOR HPV test and positive with the HC2 assay. The genotyping showed that no HR HPV was detected in the 8 HC2 assay-positive AMPLICOR HPV test-negative samples, while in 8/20 AMPLICOR HPV test-positive HC2 assay-negative samples, an HR HPV genotype was found. The AMPLICOR HPV test scored positive in a significantly higher percentage of subjects with normal Pap smears. All 7 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 patients scored positive with the AMPLICOR HPV test, while 2 of them scored negative with HC2. Both tests had positive results in the only patient with squamous cell carcinoma. In conclusion, this study shows that the HC2 assay and the AMPLICOR HPV test give comparable results, with both being suitable for routine use. The differences noted in some cases may suggest a different optimal clinical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141-2146
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Cite this