HPV genotype prevalence in cervical specimens with abnormal cytology: A report from north-east Italy

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We have investigated the prevalence of HPV DNA in cervical samples collected from 1335 women with abnormal Pap test and analysed the degree of association of HPV genotype with cervical cytological abnormality and also with patient age. The study was principally aimed at providing some cross-sectional figures on the epidemiology of HPV in our area, where the ethnic background is expected to rapidly evolve due to extensive immigration from overseas. 471 (35.3%) of the 1335 patients screened were positive for HPV DNA. A clear association was observed between cytological findings and the proportion of patients with positive HPV PCR, namely 24.0% HPV positivity in the ASCUS group (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance), 48.7% in LSIL group (low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions), and 71.9% in HSIL group (high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions) (p-value<0.001). High-risk (HR) HPV prevalence appeared to be different from other areas of the world; we have detected a high prevalence rate of HPV-16, 31, and 58 and a low prevalence rate of HPV-18 and 11. The prevalence of both HR and low risk (LR) genotype groups was clearly related to age (p-value<0.001), since the prevalence of LR group had a nadir between 41 and 50 y of age and 2 peaks at 15–20 y and at over 60 y, while the curve of prevalence of HR genotypes displayed an almost inverse trend.

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