Detection and Typing of Human Papillomavirus Nucleic Acids in Biological FluidsCoutlée F.a–c · Mayrand M.-H.a, b · Roger M.a, b · Franco E.L.c
aDépartements de Microbiologie et Immunologie et Gynécologie-Obstétrique, Université de Montréal, bDépartements de Microbiologie-Infectiologie, Gynécologie-Obstétrique, Médecine Sociale et Préventive, et Centre de Recherche, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, and cDivision of Cancer Epidemiology, McGill University, Montréal, Qué., Canada
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Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the etiologic agents of cancer of the uterine cervix and several other neoplasias. Detection of HPV infection will improve the sensitivity of primary and secondary screening of cervical cancer. The clinical indications for the use of HPV tests will have to consider the natural history of HPV infection and diseases, and the multiplicity of types involved. Signal amplification HPV DNA tests detect several high-risk HPV types, are standardized, commercially available and approved for clinical use. Nucleic acid amplification techniques are ideal methods for epidemiologic purposes since they minimize misclassification of HPV infection status and allow detection of infection with low viral burden. They are currently under evaluation for clinical use. PCR is the most widespread method for HPV typing, especially with the use of consensus primers and typing with reverse hybridization techniques. Novel promising HPV detection strategies are now proposed, such as HPV mRNA detection, and suspension or solid phase arrays. These novel techniques will have to be evaluated as stringently as actual assays in clinical studies. Although assays have been developed for the evaluation of viral load, viral integration and HPV polymorphism in molecular epidemiological studies, their role in clinical practice is not currently defined.
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