HPV16 accounts for 50–70% of cervical cancer cases worldwide. Characterization of HPV16 variants previously indicated that they differ in risks for viral persistence, progression to cervical precancer and malignant cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the association of severity of disease with HPV16 variants identified in specimens (n = 281) obtained from a Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy outpatient clinic in the University Hospital of Espírito Santo State, Southeastern Brazil, from April 2010 to November 2011. All cytologic and histologic diagnoses were determined prior to definitive treatment. The DNA was isolated using QIAamp DNA Mini Kit and HPV was detected by amplification with PGMY09/11 primers and positive samples were genotyped by RFLP analyses and reverse line blot. The genomes of the HPV16 positive samples were sequenced, from which variant lineages were determined. Chi2 statistics was performed to test the association of HPV16 variants between case and control groups. The prevalence of HR-HPV types in
Invasive cervix cancer (ICC) is the third most common malignant tumor in women and human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) causes more than 50% of ICC. DNA methylation is a covalent modification predominantly occurring at CpG dinucleotides and increased methylation across the HPV16 genome is strongly associated with ICC development. Next generation (Next Gen) sequencing has been proposed as a novel approach to determine DNA methylation. However, utilization of this method to survey CpG methylation in the HPV16 genome is not well described. Moreover, it provides additional information on methylation “haplotypes.” In the current study, we chose 12 random samples, amplified multiple segments in the HPV16 bisulfite treated genome with specific barcodes, inspected the methylation ratio at 31 CpG sites for all samples using Illumina sequencing, and compared the results with quantitative pyrosequencing. Most of the CpG sites were highly consistent between the two approaches (overall correlation, r = 0.92), thus verifying that Next Gen sequencing is an accurate and convenient method to survey HPV16 methylation and thus can be used in clinical samples for risk assessment. Moreover, the CpG methylation patterns (methylation haplotypes) in single molecules identified an excess of complete-and non-methylated molecules and a substantial amount of partial-methylated ones, thus indicating a complex dynamic for the mechanisms of HPV16 CpG methylation. In summary, the advantages of Next Gen sequencing compared to pyrosequencing for HPV genome methylation analyses include higher throughput, increased resolution, and improved efficiency of time and resources.
human papillomavirus; methylation; next generation sequencing; CpG methylation; methylation haplotypes
We have utilized a genome-wide approach to identify novel differentially methylated CpG dinucleotides that are seen in different anatomic sites of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), as well as those that might be related to HPV status in the oropharynx.
We performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of primary tumor samples and corresponding adjacent mucosa from 118 HNSCC patients undergoing treatment at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY using the Illumina HumanMethylation27 beadchip. For each matched tissue set, we measured differentially methylated CpG loci using a change in methylation level (M-value).
When datasets were individually analyzed by anatomic site of the primary tumor, we identified 293 differentially methylated CpG loci in oral cavity SCC, 219 differentially methylated CpG loci in laryngeal SCC, and 460 differentially methylated in oropharyngeal SCC. A subset of these differentially methylated CpG loci was common across all anatomic sites of HNSCC. Stratification by HPV status revealed a significantly higher number of differentially methylated CpG loci in HPV-positive patients.
Novel epigenetic biomarkers derived from clinical HNSCC specimens can be used molecular classifiers of this disease, revealing many new avenues of investigation for this disease.
methylation; prognosis; head and neck; squamous; carcinoma
Amongst the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the genus Alphapapillomavirus contains HPV types that are uniquely pathogenic. They can be classified into species and types based on genetic distances between viral genomes. Current circulating infectious HPVs constitute a set of viral genomes that have evolved with the rapid expansion of the human population. Viral variants were initially identified through restriction enzyme polymorphisms and more recently through sequence determination of viral fragments. Using partial sequence information, the history of variants, and the association of HPV variants with disease will be discussed with the main focus on the recent utilization of full genome sequence information for variant analyses. The use of multiple sequence alignments of complete viral genomes and phylogenetic analyses have begun to define variant lineages and sublineages using empirically defined differences of 1.0–10.0% and 0.5–1.0%, respectively. These studies provide the basis to define the genetics of HPV pathogenesis.
HPV; Human papillomavirus variants; Alphapapillomaviruses; HPV variant lineages; HPV evolution
Genital condyloma-like lesions were observed on male and female cynomolgus macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) originating from the island of Mauritius. Cytobrush and/or biopsy samples were obtained from lesions of 57 affected macaques. Primary histologic features included eosinophilic, neutrophilic, and lymphoplasmacytic penile and vulvar inflammation, epidermal hyperplasia with acanthosis, and increased collagenous stroma. Polymerase chain reaction–based assays to amplify viral DNA revealed the presence of macaque lymphocryptovirus (LCV) DNA but not papillomavirus or poxvirus DNA. Subsequent DNA analyses of 3 genomic regions of LCV identified isolates associated with lesions in 19/25 (76%) biopsies and 19/57 (33%) cytology samples. Variable immunolabeling for proteins related to the human LCV Epstein Barr Virus was observed within intralesional plasma cells, stromal cells, and epithelial cells. Further work is needed to characterize the epidemiologic features of these lesions and their association with LCV infection in Mauritian-origin macaques.
genital; condyloma; macaque; primate; gammaherpesvirus; lymphocryptovirus; papillomavirus; Mauritius
Recent evidence suggests that human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients have better survival than HPV-negative patients. However, it is unclear if similar patterns for survival exist across different tumor sites, and whether HPV-associated prognosis is modified by type of treatment. We prospectively tested 222 histologically confirmed HNSCC primary tumors for HPV DNA by PCR and HPV E6/E7 RNA by RT-PCR prior to treatment at a large urban health center. Cox proportional hazard ratio models were constructed to assess HPV-associated differences in overall and disease-specific survival adjusting for clinical and demographic covariates. HPV detection varied significantly by primary HNSCC tumor site, from 35 % for oropharynx, to 25 % for hypopharynx, 5 % for larynx, and 3 % for oral cavity (p < 0.0001), with HPV16 accounting for the majority (95 %) of HPV-positive tumors. The hazard-risk of overall and disease-specific death comparing HPV16-positive versus negative oropharyngeal HNSCC was reduced by 74 and 89 %, respectively (p values < 0.05), and was independent of other prognostic indicators; no statistically significant changes in outcomes were observed for non-oropharyngeal HNSCC sites. Prediction of overall survival was better with combined DNA and RNA HPV16 positive PCR detection. There was no difference in HPV16-associated survival whether patients received either surgery or (chemo)radiotherapy as their initial treatment modality. Improved HPV-associated HNSCC survival is limited to patients with oropharyngeal primaries. No selective treatment advantage is observed for HPV-positive tumors, although clinical trials are needed to evaluate which treatment modalities provide the most benefit for HPV-positive HNSCC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12105-013-0486-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Human papillomavirus; Head and neck neoplasms; Radiotherapy; Chemotherapy; Surgery
To demonstrate the importance of comorbid conditions in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), we assessed the association between comorbidity and survival in an inner-city population of HNSCC patients.
Patients and Methods
Comorbid status at diagnosis was derived using medical records and the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27 (ACE-27) index on 288 patients with histologically confirmed HNSCC from Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx (NY) between 2002 and 2011. The association between comorbidity, tumor human papillomavirus (HPV) status and overall and disease specific survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariable Cox regression adjusting for clinico-pathologic factors.
The study population consisted of primary oropharyngeal (36%), laryngeal (33%) and oral cavity cancer patients (31%). Overall, 19% had no comorbidity, 43% mild comorbidity, 29% moderate comorbidity, and 9% severe comorbidity. The most common comorbid conditions were hypertension, diabetes mellitus, respiratory disease, other malignancies, and illicit drug use. Survival analyses revealed that increased comorbidity at diagnosis was significantly related to poorer overall survival (p=0.016), but not to cancer survival (p=0.369) or recurrence (p=0.652). Oropharyngeal cancer patients with HPV DNA positive tumors and lower levels of comorbidity had significantly better overall survival compared to patients with HPV negative tumors (hazard ratio = 0.2, 95%CI: 0.04–0.8), however there was no significant difference in overall (or disease specific) survival by HPV status among patients with higher levels of comorbidity at diagnosis (hazard ratio = 0.7, 95%CI: 0.2–2.8).
In an inner-city predominantly minority population, comorbidity at HNSCC diagnosis is relatively common and associated with poor overall survival, but not cancer survival or recurrence. Interestingly, the relationship between HPV and improved survival appears to be specific to patients with low comorbidity at diagnosis.
ACE-27; comorbidity; head and neck; oropharyngeal; squamous cell carcinoma; survival; human papillomavirus
Complete genomes of HPV102 (8078 bp) and HPV106 (8035 bp) were PCR amplified and cloned from cervicovaginal cells of a 49-year-old Hispanic female with reactive changes on her Pap test and a 42-year-old Hispanic female with a Pap test diagnosis of atypical squamous cells of unknown significance (ASCUS), respectively. The nucleotide sequence similarity of the complete L1 open reading frame (ORF) determined that HPV102 and HPV106 are most closely related to HPV83 (84.1 % identity) and HPV90 (83.5 % identity), respectively, placing them in the genital HPV groups, papillomaviruses species α3 and α15. HPV102 and HPV106 contain five early genes (E6, E7, E1, E2, and E4) and two late genes (L2 and L1), and both lack an E5 ORF. On the basis of phylogenetic analyses and available clinical information, these two novel HPV types expand the heterogeneity of HPVs detected in the lower genital tract.
To assess factors associated with concomitant anal and cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in HIV-infected and at-risk women.
A study nested within the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a multi-center longitudinal study of HIV-1 infection in women conducted in six centers within the United States.
Four hundred and seventy HIV-infected and 185 HIV-uninfected WIHS participants were interviewed and examined with anal and cervical cytology testing. Exfoliated cervical and anal specimens were assessed for HPV using PCR and type-specific HPV testing. Women with abnormal cytologic results had colposcopy or anoscopy-guided biopsy of visible lesions. Logistic regression analyses were performed and odds ratios (ORs) measured the association for concomitant anal and cervical HPV infection.
One hundred and sixty-three (42%) HIV-infected women had detectable anal and cervical HPV infection compared with 12 (8%) of the HIV-uninfected women (P <0.001). HIV-infected women were more likely to have the same human papillomavirus (HPV) genotype in the anus and cervix than HIV-uninfected women (18 vs. 3%, P <0.001). This was true for both oncogenic (9 vs. 2%, P = 0.003) and nononcogenic (12 vs. 1%, P <0.001) HPV types. In multivariable analysis, the strongest factor associated with both oncogenic and nononcogenic concomitant HPV infection was being HIV-infected (OR = 4.6 and OR = 16.9, respectively). In multivariable analysis of HIV-infected women, CD4+ cell count of less than 200 was the strongest factor associated with concomitant oncogenic (OR = 4.2) and nononcogenic (OR = 16.5) HPV infection.
HIV-infected women, particularly those women with low CD4+ cell counts, may be good candidates for HPV screening and monitoring for both cervical and anal disease
anal intraepithelial neoplasia; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; HIV-infection; human papillomavirus; women
Sexually transmitted carcinogenic Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections are extraordinarily prevalent worldwide. However, most incident HPV infections clear within a few years, whereas a small minority persists to invasive cancer. Recent studies indicate that detection of methylated viral DNA may distinguish women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2+ (CIN2+) from those with a carcinogenic HPV type infection that shows no evidence of CIN2+. Several studies have reported a positive association between methylation of CpG sites in the L1 gene and CIN2+, while there are inconclusive results regarding methylation of CpG sites in the Upstream Regulatory Region (URR). In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge on HPV DNA methylation in cervical carcinogenesis, and discuss the merits of different methods used to measure HPV DNA methylation. To follow the promising leads, we suggest future studies to validate the use of methylated carcinogenic HPV DNA as a predictive and/or diagnostic biomarker for risk of cervical cancer among HPV-positive women.
human papillomavirus; methylation; cervical cancer; biomarker; epigenetics
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 58 accounts for a notable proportion of cervical cancers in East Asia and parts of Latin America, but it is uncommon elsewhere. The reason for such ethnogeographical predilection is unknown. In our study, nucleotide sequences of E6 and E7 genes of 401 HPV58 isolates collected from 15 countries/cities across four continents were examined. Phylogenetic relationship, geographical distribution and risk association of nucleotide sequence variations were analyzed. We found that the E6 genes of HPV58 variants were more conserved than E7. Thus, E6 is a more appropriate target for type-specific detection, whereas E7 is more appropriate for strain differentiation. The frequency of sequence variation varied geographically. Africa had significantly more isolates with E6-367A (D86E) but significantly less isolates with E6-203G, -245G, -367C (prototype-like) than other regions (p ≤ 0.003). E7-632T, -760A (T20I, G63S) was more frequently found in Asia, and E7-793G (T74A) was more frequent in Africa (p < 0.001). Variants with T20I and G63S substitutions at E7 conferred a significantly higher risk for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade III and invasive cervical cancer compared to other HPV58 variants (odds ratio = 4.44, p = 0.007). In conclusion, T20I and/or G63S substitution(s) at E7 of HPV58 is/are associated with a higher risk for cervical neoplasia. These substitutions are more commonly found in Asia and the Americas, which may account for the higher disease attribution of HPV58 in these areas.
HPV; variant; cervical cancer; phylogeny; oncogenic risk
Female genital tract secretions inhibit E. coli ex vivo and the activity may prevent colonization and provide a biomarker of a healthy microbiome. We hypothesized that high E. coli inhibitory activity would be associated with a Lactobacillus crispatus and/or jensenii dominant microbiome and differ from that of women with low inhibitory activity.
Vaginal swab cell pellets from 20 samples previously obtained in a cross-sectional study of near-term pregnant and non-pregnant healthy women were selected based on having high (>90% inhibition) or low (<20% inhibition) anti-E. coli activity. The V6 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene was amplified and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. Filtered culture supernatants from Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus iners, and Gardnerella vaginalis were also assayed for E. coli inhibitory activity.
Sixteen samples (10 with high and 6 with low activity) yielded evaluable microbiome data. There was no difference in the predominant microbiome species in pregnant compared to non-pregnant women (n = 8 each). However, there were significant differences between women with high compared to low E. coli inhibitory activity. High activity was associated with a predominance of L. crispatus (p<0.007) and culture supernatants from L. crispatus exhibited greater E. coli inhibitory activity compared to supernatants obtained from L. iners or G. vaginalis. Notably, the E. coli inhibitory activity varied among different strains of L. crispatus.
Microbiome communities with abundant L. crispatus likely contribute to the E. coli inhibitory activity of vaginal secretions and efforts to promote this environment may prevent E. coli colonization and related sequelae including preterm birth.
To evaluate reproducibility of oral rinse self-collection for HPV detection and investigate associations between oral HPV, oral lesions, immune and sociodemographic factors, we performed a cross-sectional study of older adults with HIV infection.
We collected oral rinse samples from 52 subjects at two different times of day followed by an oral examination and interview. We identified HPV using PCR platforms optimized for detection of mucosal and cutaneous types.
Eighty seven percent of individuals had oral HPV, of which 23% had oncogenic alpha, 40% had non-oncogenic alpha, and 46% had beta or gamma HPV. Paired oral specimens were concordant in all parameters tested. Significant associations observed for oral HPV with increased HIV viral load, hepatitis-C seropositivity, history of sexually transmitted diseases and lifetime number of sexual partners.
Oral cavity may be a reservoir of subclinical HPV in older adults who have HIV infection. Understanding natural history, transmission and potential implications of oral HPV warrants further investigations.
human papillomas virus; HPV; human immunodeficiency virus; HIV; immunosuppression; oral lesions; PCR
Recent studies indicate that human papillomaviruses (HPVs) from the genera Betapapillomavirus and Gammapapillomavirus are abundant in the human oral cavity. We report the cloning and characterization of a 7304 bp HPV120 genome from the oral cavity that is related most closely to HPV23 (L1 ORF, 83.7 % similarity), clustering it in the genus Betapapillomavirus (β-PV). HPV120 contains five early and two late genes, but no E5 ORF. HPV120 was detected from heterogeneous human biological niches, including the oral cavity, eyebrow hairs, anal canal and penile, vulvar and perianal warts. Characterization of the clinical spectrum of HPV120 infections indicates a broader spectrum of epithelial tropism than appreciated previously for HPV types from the genus β-PV.
Clinical studies demonstrate increased prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated disease in HIV-infected individuals and an increased risk of HIV acquisition in HPV-infected individuals. The mechanisms underlying this synergy are not defined. We hypothesize that women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) will exhibit changes in soluble mucosal immunity that may promote HPV persistence and facilitate HIV infection.
The concentrations of immune mediators and endogenous anti-Escherichia coli activity in genital tract secretions collected by cervicovaginal lavage were compared in HIV-negative women with high-risk HPV-positive (HRHPV+) CIN-3 (n = 37), HRHPV+ CIN-1 (n = 12), or PAP-negative control subjects (n = 57).
Compared with control subjects, women with CIN-3 or CIN-1 displayed significantly higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, and IL-8 (P < 0.002) and significantly lower levels of anti-inflammatory mediators and antimicrobial peptides, including IL-1 receptor antagonist, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (P < 0.01), and human β defensins 2 and 3 (P < 0.02). There was no significant difference in endogenous anti-E. coli activity after controlling for age and sample storage time.
HRHPV+ CIN is characterized by changes in soluble mucosal immunity that could contribute to HPV persistence. The observed mucosal inflammation suggests a mechanism that may also contribute to the epidemiologic link between persistent HPV and HIV.
Protein-truncating mutations in BRCA1 and in particular BRCA2 genes have been associated with prostate cancer. However, there is still uncertainty about the magnitude of association particularly with Gleason score, and family history of prostate, breast, and ovary cancers.
To further examine associations between three founder mutations located in BRCA1 (185delAG, 5382insC) or BRCA2 (6174delT) genes and prostate cancer, we conducted a study of 979 prostate cancer cases and 1,251 controls among Ashkenazi Jewish men. Detailed information was obtained on prostate cancer pathology, age at diagnosis, and family history of all cancers. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression models.
Prostate cancer risk was increased (OR, 1.9; 95% CI 0.9-4.1) for BRCA2 mutation carriers but not for BRCA1 mutation carriers. BRCA2 mutation carriers had an OR of 3.2 (95% CI, 1.4-7.3) for Gleason score of 7 to 10, but no association was observed for Gleason score of <7. Carriers of BRCA1-185delAG mutation also had an OR of 3.5 (95% CI, 1.2-10.3) for Gleason score of ≥7 tumors; however, the association of either BRCA1-185delAG or 5382insC mutation was not statistically significant. Associations between founder mutations and prostate cancer were stronger in men with no first-degree family history of breast and/or ovarian cancers but were unaffected by family history of prostate cancer.
These results indicate that the BRCA2 founder mutation confers a 3-fold elevated risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Although BRCA1 mutations were not associated with prostate cancer, the BRCA1-185delAG was associated with high Gleason score tumors. These findings should be carefully considered in genetic counseling and/or evaluating therapeutic options.
Cervicovaginal human papillomavirus (HPV) viral load has been purported as a potential marker for the detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or cancer (≥CIN2). To examine disease association with type-specific viral load for the full-range of anogenital HPV infections, we conducted cross-sectional and prospective analyses of ∼2,000 HPV-infected women from a 10,000-woman population-based study in Guanacaste, Costa Rica with 7 years of follow-up. Cervical specimens were tested for >40 HPV types using a MY09/MY11 L1 consensus primer PCR method with type-specific dot blot hybridization and PCR signal intensity as a measure of viral load. A positive association was observed between prevalent ≥CIN2 and high viral load compared to low viral load for women with baseline single HPV16 infections (OR = 19.2, 95% CI = 4.4–83.2) and single non-16 carcinogenic infections (OR = 9.2, 95% CI = 2.1–39.9). Inclusion of women with multiple HPV types did not substantially change these associations. In prospective follow-up, only women infected with HPV16 alone (OR = 27.2, 95% = 3.5-213.5) had a strong association between high viral load and incident ≥CIN2; non-16 carcinogenic high viral load was not associated with incident ≥CIN2 (OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.2–1.9). Single noncarcinogenic type viral load was not associated with increased risk of prevalent or incident ≥CIN2 (OR = 1.2 and 1.1, respectively). In conclusion, carcinogenic high viral load was associated with prevalent ≥CIN2; however HPV16 was uniquely associated with incident ≥CIN2. The extent to which these observations can be translated into clinical practice must be rigorously examined in the context of the method of viral load measurement and the type-specific differences observed for incident ≥CIN2.
human papillomavirus; viral load; genotype; screening
We wanted to compare detection of a broad spectrum of human papillomavirus (HPV) types detected in cellular specimens from the vagina and cervix, which could provide information about the potential of each anatomical site for harboring infection. Previous studies have failed to present data on or detect a broad spectrum of HPV genotypes and/or have not carefully sampled the vagina, instead relying on self-collection that is likely contaminated with cervical cells.
We conducted follow-up study of 353 women who had participated in study of HPV and cervical neoplasia in Costa Rica. We collected paired cervical and vaginal specimens; vaginal specimens were collected from the fornix to minimize cervical contamination. Specimens were tested in a masked fashion for >40 HPV types using a MY09/MY11 PCR method and type-specific dot blot hybridization.
The prevalence for any carcinogenic HPV type in vaginal and cervical specimens was similar (P = 0.3). However, the prevalence for any HPV type in vaginal specimens was greater than in cervical specimens (P = 0.0002), primarily due to a twofold increased vaginal prevalence of HPV types of the α3/α15 phylogenetic species (e.g., HPV61) (P <0.00005).
Carcinogenic HPV types appeared to have a similar affinity for vaginal and cervical epithelium, but noncarcinogenic HPV types of the α3/α15 phylogenetic species may have a tropism for vaginal epithelium.
We explored the association of HPV16 DNA methylation with age, viral load, viral persistence, and risk of incident and prevalent high grade CIN (CIN2+) in serially collected specimens from the Guanacaste, Costa Rica cohort. 273 exfoliated cervical cell specimens (diagnostic and pre-diagnostic) were selected: 1) 92 with HPV16 DNA clearance (controls), 2) 72 with HPV16 DNA persistence (without CIN2+), and 3) 109 with CIN2+. DNA was extracted, bisulfite converted and methylation was quantified using pyrosequencing assays at 66 CpGs across the HPV genome. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to determine significant differences among groups, and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were used to evaluate how well methylation identified women with CIN2+. In diagnostic specimens, 88% of CpG sites had significantly higher methylation levels in CIN2+ after correction for multiple tests compared with controls. The highest AUC was 0.82 for CpG site 6457 in L1, and a diagnostic sensitivity of 91% corresponded to a specificity of 60% for CIN2+. Prospectively, 17% of CpG sites had significantly higher methylation in pre-diagnostic CIN2+ specimens (median time of 3 years before diagnosis) vs. controls. The strongest pre-diagnostic CpG site was 6367 in L1 with an AUC of 0.76. Age-stratified analyses suggested that women older than the median age of 28 years have an increased risk of precancer associated with high methylation. Higher methylation in CIN2+ cases was not explained by higher viral load. We conclude that elevated levels of HPV16 DNA methylation may be useful to predict concurrently diagnosed as well as future CIN2+.
HPV16; methylation; epidemiology; receiver operating curve; biomarker
Cervical cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer in developing countries. Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) was introduced to screen for cervical premalignant lesions in developing countries due to the inability of many countries to implement high quality cytologic services. We sought to compare VIA performance among different health workers in Nigeria.
In a population-based project, seven health workers working who had been screening women with VIA for about two years at local government health centers in rural Nigeria were retrained in a two-week program using the IARC training manual. Women from a rural village who had never had cervical cancer screening were recruited into the study. Each woman had cervical cancer screening by VIA, liquid-based cytology and oncogenic human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing.
Despite similar participant characteristics, across all age groups, providers had wide ranges of VIA results; 0–21% suspect cancer and 0–25% VIA positive. VIA was insensitive compared to a combination of cytology and HPV testing.
In our study, VIA was not reproducible nor was it sensitive compared to cytology and HPV testing.
Cervical cancer; VIA; Liquid-based cytology; HPV DNA; Health workers
Previous studies have suggested an association between human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) genome methylation and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3) (ie, cervical precancer) and cancer, but the results have been inconsistent.
We designed a case–control study within a large prospective cohort of women who underwent multiple screenings for cervical cancer in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Diagnostic specimens were collected at the time of CIN3 diagnosis (n = 30 case subjects) and persistent HPV16 infection (persistence; n = 35 case subjects), prediagnostic specimens at the first HPV16-positive screening visit (n = 20 CIN3 case subjects; n = 35 persistence case subjects), and control specimens from women with infection clearance within 2 years (n = 34 control subjects). DNA extracted from specimens (cervical cells) was analyzed for methylation levels at 67 CpG sites throughout the HPV16 genome using pyrosequencing. Benjamini–Hochberg method was used to account for multiple testing. Associations between methylation levels and risk of CIN3 or persistence were assessed using logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Increased methylation in diagnostic vs control specimens at nine CpG sites, three in each L1, L2, and E2/E4 genomic regions, was associated with an increased risk of CIN3 (third tertile [high] vs first and second tertiles combined [low], OR = 3.29 [95% CI = 1.16 to 9.34] to 11.12 [95% CI = 2.29 to 76.80]) and persistence. High methylation at three of these CpG sites was associated with a much higher risk when combined compared with low methylation at these sites (OR = 52, 95% CI = 4.0 to 670). In prediagnostic vs control specimens, increased methylation at a CpG site (nucleotide position 4261) in L2 was associated with an increased risk of CIN3.
In this HPV16-infected cohort, increased methylation of CpG sites within the HPV16 genome before diagnosis and at the time of diagnosis was associated with cervical precancer.