Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been implicated in the development of cervical cancer. Newly developed molecular techniques have facilitated HPV identification and typing of cervical lesions. Several studies have suggested a strong correlation between HPV16 and intraepithelial cervical neoplasia. However, there is no agreement on this point since HPV16 is detected also in normal cervical tissue. We have amplified the L1 region of HPV16 DNA using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique and analyzed the HPV16 prevalence in cytological scrapes of 201 Italian sexually active patients. One hundred twenty-four of these women had normal cytologic and colposcopic examination, while seventy-seven women had normal or abnormal cytology and a cervical lesion detectable by colposcopy. Within this latter group, 25 of 77 women (32.4%) were positive for HPV16 DNA, compared to 11 of 124 samples (8.87%) from women with normal cytology and colposcopy. The present results confirm the high efficiency of the PCR technique in detecting HPV16 DNA from cervical scrapes and suggest that this analysis should become a method of choice in clinical studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology