Detection and typing of human papillomaviruses by polymerase chain reaction in cervical scrapes of Croatian women with abnormal cytology

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The association between certain human papillomaviruses (HPV) and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is well documented, but still unknown among Croatian women. In 1995, women between the age of 17 and 64 with cytomorphologically abnormal smears (CIN I–IV) were tested for the presence of HPV. Consensus and specific primers were used in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect the most common types: 6, 11, 16, 18, 31 and 33, as well as the unknown-risk HPV types (HPV X). Out of 379 specimens, 163 (43%) contained one or more HPV types. Coinfection with different HPV types in the same sample was observed in 16 cases. Beside low-risk HPV 6/11 (25.8%) the most frequently observed types were high-risk HPV types 16 (20.2%) and 31 (17.8%). Globally, the HPV positivity rate declines with age. The presence of HPV DNA significantly increased from 35.5 to 61.1% along with the severity of the cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN I– IV). HPV type 6/11 was strongly associated with CIN I (33.8%), HPV type 31 with CIN II (22.9%), and HPV type 16 with CIN III (50%).

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