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1.  Characterization of three novel human papillomavirus types isolated from oral rinse samples of healthy individuals 
Despite the strong evidence of HPV infection as the etiological agent in a subset of oral cancer, oral α-HPV detection is rare in healthy individuals, and little is known of the existing of novel HPV types in oral cavity.
We determined whether novel HPV types can be isolated from oral rinse samples collected from healthy individuals.
Study design
We performed rolling circle amplification (RCA) coupled with degenerated PCR assay on 48 oral rinse samples to amplify novel HPV types. Full length HPV DNA was cloned using long range PCR. Quantitative type specific Taqman assays were used to determine the prevalence of novel HPV types in 158 archived oral tissue samples.
We were able to isolate four novel human papillomavirus types. Full length HPV DNA was cloned for three of the four novel HPV types. All four HPV types belong to the genus Gammapapillomavirus (γ-PV), where HPV 171 is most closely related to HPV 169, showing 88% similarity; HPV 172 is most closely related to HPV 156, showing 70% similarity; HPV 173 is most closely related to HPV 4, showing 73% similarity; oral sample lavage (OSL) 37 is most closely related to HPV 144, showing 69% similarity. Finally, we showed that HPV 173 was rarely present in oral tissues (2/158), HPV 172 was only detected in normal oral tissues (25/76), and HPV 171 was more prevalent in malignant oral tissues (17/82 vs 10/76, p=0.21).
Novel γ-HPV types are present in oral cavity of healthy individuals.
PMCID: PMC3898882  PMID: 24268765
HPV; oral lavage; oral squamous cell carcinoma
2.  Modeling the impact of quadrivalent HPV vaccination on the incidence of Pap test abnormalities in the United States 
Vaccine  2013;31(29):3019-3024.
We present data on Pap test results and HPV prevalence from the HPV Sentinel Surveillance project, a multiyear surveillance project enrolling women from a diverse set of 26 clinics throughout the US from 2003 to 2005. We use mathematical modeling to illustrate the potential timing and magnitude of decreases in Pap test abnormalities in sexually transmitted disease (STD), family planning, and primary care clinics in the US as a result of HPV vaccination.
The probability of an abnormal Pap result was based on three factors: (1) infection with HPV 16/18, or both; (2) infection with high-risk HPV types other than HPV 16/18; and (3) infection with HPV 6/11, or both. We estimated the relative reduction in the probability of an abnormal Pap result over the first 25 years of a female-only, quadrivalent HPV vaccination program, compared to a scenario of no HPV vaccination in which the probability of abnormal Pap results was assumed constant.
The probability of an abnormal Pap result ranged from 7.0% for the lowest risk group (those without any high-risk HPV types and without HPV 6/11) to 45.2% for the highest risk group (those with HPV 16/18 and at least one other high-risk HPV type). Estimated reductions in abnormal Pap results among women in the 21- to 29-year age group were 0.8%, 10.2%, and 11.3% in years 5, 15, and 25 of the vaccine program respectively, in the lower vaccine coverage scenario, and 7.4%, 21.4%, and 22.2%, respectively, in the higher coverage scenario.
Our results suggest that HPV vaccination will have a discernable impact on the probability of Pap abnormalities, but the timing and magnitude of the reduction will depend substantially on vaccine coverage and the degree of cross-protection against high risk HPV types other than HPV 16/18.
PMCID: PMC3998647  PMID: 23664991
HPV; HPV vaccine; Papanicolaou test; Vaccination effects
Journal of medical virology  2009;81(4):713-721.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) RNA levels may be a more sensitive early indicator of predisposition to carcinogenesis than DNA levels. We evaluated whether levels of HPV-16 and HPV-18 DNA and messenger RNA (mRNA) in newly detected infections are associated with cervical lesion development. Female university students were recruited from 1990-2004. Cervical samples for HPV DNA, HPV mRNA, and Papanicolaou testing were collected tri-annually, and women were referred for colposcopically-directed biopsy when indicated. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction of L1 and E7 DNA and E7 mRNA was performed on samples from women with HPV-16 and HPV-18 infections that were incidently detected by consensus PCR. Adjusting for other HPV types, increasing E7 cervical HPV-16 mRNA levels at the time of incident HPV-16 DNA detection were associated with an increased risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 to 3 (HR per 1 log10 increase in mRNA=6.36,95%CI=2.00-20.23). Increasing HPV-16 mRNA levels were also associated with an increased risk of cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions; the risk was highest at the incident positive visit and decreased over time. Neither HPV-16 E7 DNA levels nor HPV-18 E7 DNA nor mRNA levels were significantly associated with cervical lesion development. Report of >1 new partner in the past 8 months (relative to no new partners) was associated with increased HPV mRNA (viral level ratio [VLR]=10.05,95%CI=1.09-92.56) and increased HPV DNA (VLR=16.80,95%CI=1.46-193.01). In newly detected HPV-16 infections, increasing levels of E7 mRNA appear to be associated with an increased risk of developing cervical pre-cancer.
PMCID: PMC3984467  PMID: 19235870
HPV; viral load; mRNA; cervical pre-cancer
4.  Persistence of Newly Detected Human Papillomavirus Type 31 Infection, Stratified by Variant Lineage 
Variants of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 31 have been shown to be related both to risk of cervical lesions and racial composition of a population. It is largely undetermined whether variants differ in their likelihood of persistence. Study subjects were women who participated in the ASCUS-LSIL Triage Study and who had a newly detected HPV31 infection during a 2-year follow-up with 6-month intervals. HPV31 isolates were characterized by sequencing and assigned to 1 of 3 variant lineages. Loss of the newly detected HPV31 infection was detected in 76 (47.5%) of the 160 women (32/67 with A variants, 16/27 with B variants, and 28/66 with C variants). The adjusted hazard ratio associating loss of the infection was 1.2 (95% CI, 0.7–2.1) for women with A variants and 2.1 (95% CI, 1.2–3.5) for women with B variants as compared to those with C variants. Infections with A and C variants were detected in 50 and 41 Caucasian women and in 15 and 23 African-American women, respectively. The likelihood of clearance of the infection was significantly lower in African-American women with C variants than in African-American women with A variants (P=0.05). There was no difference in the likelihood of clearance between A and C variants among Caucasian women. Our data indicated that infections with B variants were more likely to resolve than those with C variants. The difference in clearance of A versus C variants in African-Americans but not in Caucasians suggests a possibility of the race-related influence in retaining the variant-specific infection.
PMCID: PMC3465533  PMID: 22729840
Human Papillomavirus; Variants; Persistence
5.  Effect of Sexual Debut on Vaginal Microbiota in a Cohort of Young Women 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2012;120(6):1306-1313.
Bacterial vaginosis is uncommon in women who are virgins. We estimated effects of sexual debut on vaginal bacterial colonization.
Women who were virgins and aged 18–22 enrolled in a study of human papillomavirus acquisition were followed every 4 months for up to 2 years. Vaginal swabs from before and after sexual debut, or two independent visits for those remaining virginal were tested by quantitative polymerase chain reaction for Lactobacillus crispatus, L. jensenii, L. iners, Gardnerella vaginalis, and the bacterial vaginosis-associated species Atopobium vaginae, Megasphaera spp., Leptotrichia spp, Sneathia, spp BVAB1, BVAB2, and BVAB3.
We evaluated 97 women: 71 who became sexually active and 26 who remained virginal. At first sampling, 22/26 (85%) of women who remained virginal were colonized with Lactobacillus species compared to 22/26 (85%) at follow-up (p > 0.99). G. vaginalis was present in 12/26 (46%) initially, and 11/26 (42%) at follow-up (p > 0.99). Among women who became sexually active, colonization with Lactobacillus species remained stable: 65/71 (92%) vs. 66/71 (93%) (p > 0.99), while colonization with G. vaginalis increased [28/71 (39%) vs 40/71 (56%); p = 0.02]. Among women who did not initiate sexual activity during the study, 2/26 (8%) had any bacterial vaginosis-associated species detected at both the first and second visits(p > 0.99). Among women who became sexually active during the study 15/71 (21%) were colonized with bacterial vaginosis-associated species initially, compared to 13/71 (18%) after sexual debut (p = 0.77).
Among women who were virgins, vaginal colonization with bacterial vaginosis-associated bacterial species is uncommon and does not change after sexual debut.
PMCID: PMC3548407  PMID: 23168754
6.  Prevalence and risk factors for oncogenic HPV infections in high-risk mid-adult women 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2012;39(11):848-856.
The epidemiology of high-risk (hr) HPV infections in mid-adult women with new sex partners is undefined.
We analyzed baseline data from 518 25–65 year old female online daters. Women were mailed questionnaires and kits for self-collecting vaginal specimens for PCR-based hrHPV testing. Risk factors for infection were identified using Poisson regression models to obtain prevalence ratios (PRs).
The prevalence of hrHPV infection was 35.9%. In multivariate analysis restricted to sexually active women, the likelihood of hrHPV infection was associated with abnormal Pap test history (PR=1.42, 95% CI:1.10–1.84), lifetime number of sex partners >14 (relative to 1–4; PR=2.13, 95% CI:1.13–4.02 for 15–24 partners and PR=1.91, 95% CI:1.00–3.64 for ≥25 partners), male partners with ≥1 concurrent partnership (PR=1.34, 95% CI:1.05–1.71) and male partners whom the subject met online (PR=1.39, 95% CI:1.08–1.79). Age was inversely associated with infection only in women who were sexually inactive (PR=0.67 per 5-year age difference, adjusted for Pap history and lifetime number of partners). Compared to sexually inactive women, the likelihood of infection increased with increasing risk level, (from low-risk to high-risk partners) (p<.0001 by trend test). In multivariate analysis, infection with multiple versus single hrHPV types was inversely associated with ever having been pregnant (PR=0.64, 95% CI:0.46–0.90) and recent consistent condom use (PR=0.56, 95% CI:0.32–0.97), and positively associated with genital wart history (PR=1.43, 95% CI:1.03–1.99).
Measures of both cumulative and recent sexual history were associated with prevalent hrHPV infection in this high-risk cohort of mid-adult women.
PMCID: PMC3476060  PMID: 23064533
HPV; human papilloma virus; mid-adult; prevalence; risk factors
7.  Disclosure of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection to Female Sex Partners by Young Men 
Sexually Transmitted Diseases  2012;39(8):583-587.
A survey was administered to male university students testing positive for high-risk human papillomavirus. Disclosure was more likely in men with fewer partners, in main partnerships, and in longer partnerships. Disclosure was associated with discussing the Pap test/HPV vaccine with female partners and not associated with a worsening relationship.
PMCID: PMC3398400  PMID: 22797688
human papillomavirus; male; disclosure; sexually transmitted infection; sexual partnerships
8.  Evidence of immune memory 8.5 years following administration of a prophylactic human papillomavirus type 16 vaccine 
Journal of Clinical Virology  2011;53(3):239-243.
The duration of protection conferred by prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 virus-like particle vaccines is a critical determinant of their public health impact. A feature of vaccines that confer long-term immunity is their ability to induce immune memory.
We evaluated antibody responses against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 following administration of the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine to women who had previously received a monovalent HPV-16 vaccine.
Study design
As part of an extended follow-up study conducted between 2006 and 2009 in Seattle, Washington, we administered the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine to 52 women (19 vaccine and 33 placebo recipients) who had participated in a monovalent HPV-16 vaccine trial 8.5 years earlier. Serum samples were tested for anti-HPV antibodies using competitive Luminex immunoassay.
Following administration of the first dose of the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine, the anti-HPV-16 geometric mean titer among monovalent HPV-16 vaccine recipients (GMT = 5024.0 milli-Merck units per milliliter [mMU/mL]; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2710.1, 9313.6 mMU/mL) substantially exceeded that among the placebo recipients (GMT = 136.1; 95% CI: 78.5, 235.8 mMU/mL; p < 0.01) and their own highest anti-HPV-16 response observed during the original trial (GMT at month 7 of the original trial = 1552.7 mMU/mL; 95% CI: 1072.6, 2247.7 mMU/mL; p < 0.01).
The findings suggest that the administration of the three-dose regimen of the monovalent HPV-16 vaccine had produced memory lymphocytes, characterized by a heightened immune response following administration of the quadrivalent HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine that effectively served as an antigen challenge.
PMCID: PMC3279625  PMID: 22209292
Human papillomavirus type 16; Vaccines; Immune memory
9.  The Association of Current Hormonal Contraceptive Use with Type-Specific HPV Detection 
Sexually transmitted infections  2011;87(5):385-388.
Increasing duration of hormonal contraceptive (HC) use may be positively associated with risk of invasive cervical cancer.
This is a secondary analysis from the HPV Sentinel Surveillance Study. We examined the association between type-specific human papillomavirus (HPV) detection and current HC use among 7718 women attending 26 sexually transmitted diseases, family planning, and primary care clinics in the U.S.
There was an association between HC use and HPV-16 detection [adjusted prevalence rate ratio 1.34; (95%CI: 1.05–1.71) for oral contraceptive users and 1.41; (1.01–2.04) for depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate users]; there was no association between HC use and detection of other HPV types or any HPV overall.
Longitudinal studies are needed to better define this type-specific association and its clinical significance.
PMCID: PMC3512558  PMID: 21772042
Hormonal contraception; HPV; human Papillomavirus; Papanicolaou smear
10.  Circumcision and acquisition of HPV infection in young men 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2011;38(11):1074-1081.
The role of circumcision in male HPV acquisition is not clear.
Male university students (18–20 years of age) were recruited from 2003–2009 and followed tri-annually. Shaft/scrotum, glans, and urine samples were tested for 37 alpha HPV genotypes. Cox proportional hazards methods were used to evaluate the association between circumcision and HPV acquisition. Logistic regression was used to assess whether number of genital sites infected at incident HPV detection or site of incident detection varied by circumcision status.
In 477 men, rates of acquiring clinically-relevant HPV types (high-risk types plus types 6 and 11) did not differ significantly by circumcision status (hazard ratio [HR] for uncircumcised relative to circumcised subjects: 0.9[95%CI:0.7–1.2]). However, compared to circumcised men, uncircumcised men were 10.1 (95%CI:2.9–35.6) times more likely to have the same HPV type detected in all 3 genital specimens than in a single genital specimen and were 2.7 (95%CI:1.6–4.5) times more likely to have an HPV-positive urine or glans specimen at first detection.
While the likelihood of HPV acquisition did not differ by circumcision status, uncircumcised men were more likely than circumcised men to have infections detected at multiple genital sites, which may have implications for HPV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3210112  PMID: 21992987
HPV; human papilloma virus; circumcision; epidemiology; risk factors
12.  Serum Antibody Response Following Genital α9 Human Papillomavirus Infection in Young Men 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;204(2):209-216.
Background. Although the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) genital infection is similarly high in males and females, seroprevalence is lower in males. This study assessed rates and determinants of seroconversion after detection of genital HPV infection in young men.
Methods. We investigated HPV type-specific seroconversion in a cohort of heterosexual male university students who had an α9 HPV type (HPV-16, -31, -33, -35, -52, -58, or -67) detected in the genital tract (n = 156). HPV DNA and antibodies were detected and typed using liquid bead-based multiplex assays. We calculated seroconversion using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Cox proportional hazards models with generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations with seroconversion.
Results. Within 24 months of detecting genital HPV infection, type-specific seroconversion ranged from 4% for HPV–52 to 36% for HPV-31. HPV-16 seroconversion at 24 months was 13% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7%–25%). Among incident HPV infections, ever cigarette smoking and infection site(s) (shaft/scrotum and glans/urine vs shaft/scrotum or glans/urine only) were positively associated with type-specific seroconversion.
Conclusions. For each of the α9 HPV types, type-specific seroconversion within 24 months was observed in 36% or less of infected men. Seroconversion might be related to cigarette smoking and genital site(s) infected.
PMCID: PMC3114468  PMID: 21673030
13.  Antibody responses in oral fluid following administration of prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2009;200(9):1452-1455.
We sought to determine whether oral fluid can be used to assess serum human papillomavirus (HPV) antibody status by enrolling women who had received a prophylactic HPV-16 vaccine in a new follow-up study. After the prophylactic HPV-6/11/16/18 vaccine was licensed in the United States, we administered it to consenting participants. The sensitivity of oral fluid, treating serology as the gold standard, before and after administration of the quadrivalent vaccine was 49.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 42.0%–57.3%) and 100% (95% CI: 92.0%–100%), respectively. Oral fluid may have the potential to be used for monitoring of prophylactic HPV vaccines in the future.
PMCID: PMC3392559  PMID: 19698077
Human papillomavirus; Prophylactic vaccines; Antibodies; Oral fluid
14.  Viral Load in the Natural History of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Infection: A Nested Case–control Study 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(10):1425-1433.
Background. Viral load may influence the course of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) infection.
Methods. This case-control study was nested within the 2-year Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance and Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion Triage Study, in which women were followed semiannually for HPV and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Case patients (n = 62) were women diagnosed with CIN3 following HPV-16–positive detection at a follow-up visit. HPV-16–positive controls (n = 152) without CIN2 or CIN3 were matched to cases based on the follow-up visit in which viral load was measured. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used for HPV-16 DNA quantification.
Results. The risk of CIN3 increased with increasing HPV-16 DNA load at the follow-up visit (odds ratio, 1.63; 95% confidence interval, 1.33–1.99 per 1 log10 unit increase); the association was not affected by whether HPV-16 was present at enrollment. When HPV-16 was present at both enrollment and follow-up, viral load remained high among cases (P = .77) but decreased substantially among controls (P = .004). Among women with HPV-16 found initially during follow-up, viral load in the first HPV-16–positive sample was associated with short-term persistence; load was higher in those with infection, compared with those without infection, 1 visit after the initial positivity (P = .001).
Conclusions. Viral load of newly detected infections and changes in viral load predict persistence and progression of HPV-16 infections.
PMCID: PMC3080901  PMID: 21415020
15.  Prevalence of High-Risk HPV Types and Abnormal Cervical Cytology in American Indian/Alaska Native Women, 2003–2005 
Public Health Reports  2011;126(3):330-337.
We described prevalence estimates of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV), HPV types 16 and 18, and abnormal Papanicolaou (Pap) smear tests among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women compared with women of other races/ethnicities.
A total of 9,706 women presenting for cervical screening in a sentinel network of 26 clinics (sexually transmitted disease, family planning, and primary care) received Pap smears and HR-HPV type-specific testing. We compared characteristics of 291 women self-identified as AI/AN with other racial/ethnic minority groups.
In our population, AI/AN and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women had similar age- and clinic-adjusted prevalences of HR-HPV (29.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 23.9, 34.3 for AI/AN women vs. 25.8%, 95% CI 24.4, 27.2 for NHW women), HPV 16 and 18 (6.7%, 95% CI 3.9, 9.6 for AI/AN women vs. 8.8%, 95% CI 7.9, 9.7 for NHW women), and abnormal Pap smear test results (16%, 95% CI 11.7, 20.3 for AI/AN women vs. 14.9%, 95% CI 13.7, 16.0 for NHW women). AI/AN women had a higher prevalence of HR-HPV than Hispanic women, and a similar prevalence of HPV 16 and 18 as compared with Hispanic and African American women.
We could not demonstrate differences in the prevalence of HR-HPV, HPV 16 and 18, or abnormal Pap smear test results between AI/AN and NHW women. This finding should improve confidence in the benefit of HPV vaccine and Pap smear screening in the AI/AN population as an effective strategy to reduce rates of cervical cancer.
PMCID: PMC3072853  PMID: 21553660
Characterizing short-term detection patterns of young women’s incident alpha-genus human papillomavirus (HPV) infections may further understanding of HPV transmission.
Between 2000–2007, we followed 18–22 year old female university students with triannual HPV DNA and Papanicolau testing. Using Kaplan-Meier methods, we estimated: duration of detectable, type-specific incident infections; time to re-detection (among infections that became undetectable); and time to cervical lesion development after incident infection. We evaluated risk factors for short-term persistent versus transient infection with logistic regression.
303 incident type-specific infections were detected in 85 sexually active women. Median time to first negative test after incident infection was 9.4 (95%CI:7.8–11.2) months; 90.6% of infections became undetectable within two years. 19.4% of infections that became undetectable were re-detected within one year. Cervical lesions were common, and 60% were positive for multiple HPV types in concurrent cervical swabs. Incident HPV detection in the cervix only (versus the vulva/vagina only or both sites) was associated with short-term transience.
While most incident infections became undetectable within two years, re-detection was not uncommon. Cervical lesions were a common early manifestation of HPV infection.
It remains unclear whether potentially modifiable risk factors can be identified to reduce infection duration (and transmission likelihood).
PMCID: PMC3078690  PMID: 21173170
human papillomavirus; incidence; duration; persistence; women; epidemiology
17.  Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Variants in Paired Enrollment and Follow-up Cervical Samples: Implications for a Proper Understanding of Type-Specific Persistent Infections 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2010;202(11):1667-1670.
Prospective studies of the persistence of human papilloma-virus (HPV) variants are rare and typically small. We sequenced HPV-16 variants in longitudinal pairs of specimens from 86 women enrolled in the ASCUS-LSIL Triage Study. A change of variants was identified in 4 women (4.7% [95% confidence interval, 1.3%-11.5%]). Among women with intervening HPV results (n = 60), a variant switch occurred in 2 of 11 who had evidence of intervening negativity for HPV-16, compared with 1 of 49 who consistently tested positive (P = .11). These results suggest the possibility that rare misclassification of transient infections as persistent infections occurs in natural history studies of type-specific HPV infections.
PMCID: PMC3107552  PMID: 20977339
18.  Inverse Association between Methylation of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 DNA and Risk of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Grades 2 or 3 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23897.
The clinical relevance of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) DNA methylation has not been well documented, although its role in modulation of viral transcription is recognized.
Study subjects were 211 women attending Planned Parenthood clinics in Western Washington for routine Papanicolaou screening who were HPV16 positive at the screening and/or subsequent colposcopy visit. Methylation of 11 CpG dinucleotides in the 3′ end of the long control region of the HPV16 genome was examined by sequencing the cloned polymerase chain reaction products. The association between risk of CIN2/3 and degree of CpG methylation was estimated using a logistic regression model.
CIN2/3 was histologically confirmed in 94 (44.5%) of 211 HPV16 positive women. The likelihood of being diagnosed as CIN2/3 increased significantly with decreasing numbers of methylated CpGs (meCpGs) in the 3′ end of the long control region (Pfor trend = 0.003). After adjusting for HPV16 variants, number of HPV16-positive visits, current smoking status and lifetime number of male sex partners, the odds ratio for the association of CIN2/3 with ≥4 meCpGs was 0.31 (95% confidence interval, 0.12–0.79). The proportion of ≥4 meCpGs decreased appreciably as the severity of the cervical lesion increased (Pfor trend = 0.001). The inverse association remained similar when CIN3 was used as the clinical endpoint. Although not statistically significant, the ≥4 meCpGs-related risk reduction was more substantial among current, as compared to noncurrent, smokers.
Results suggest that degree of the viral genome methylation is related to the outcome of an HPV16 cervical infection.
PMCID: PMC3161083  PMID: 21887341
19.  Accuracy and Cost-Effectiveness of Cervical Cancer Screening by High-Risk HPV DNA Testing of Self-Collected Vaginal Samples 
Estimate the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of cervical cancer screening strategies based on high-risk HPV DNA testing of self-collected vaginal samples.
Materials and Methods
A subset of 1,665 women (18-50 years of age) participating in a cervical cancer screening study were screened by liquid-based cytology and by high-risk HPV DNA testing of both self-collected vaginal swab samples and clinician-collected cervical samples. Women with positive/abnormal screening test results and a subset of women with negative screening test results were triaged to colposcopy. Based on individual and combined test results, five screening strategies were defined. Estimates of sensitivity and specificity for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse were calculated and a Markov model was used to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for each strategy.
Compared to cytology-based screening, high-risk HPV DNA testing of self-collected vaginal samples was more sensitive (68%, 95%CI=58%-78% versus 85%, 95%CI=76%-94%) but less specific (89%, 95%CI=86%-91% versus 73%, 95%CI=67%-79%). A strategy of high-risk HPV DNA testing of self-collected vaginal samples followed by cytology triage of HPV positive women, was comparably sensitive (75%, 95%CI=64%-86%) and specific (88%, 95%CI=85%-92%) to cytology-based screening. In-home self-collection for high-risk HPV DNA detection followed by in-clinic cytology triage had a slightly lower lifetime cost and a slightly higher quality-adjusted life expectancy than did cytology-based screening (ICER of triennial screening compared to no screening was $9,871/QALY and $12,878/QALY, respectively).
Triennial screening by high-risk HPV DNA testing of in-home, self-collected vaginal samples followed by in-clinic cytology triage was cost-effective.
PMCID: PMC2898894  PMID: 20592553
cervical cancer; screening; hpv; self-collect; cost-effectiveness
Little is known about detection of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types in women’s fingertips. The study objectives were to determine the presence of genital HPV types in fingertip samples and agreement between fingertip and genital samples for detecting HPV.
At tri-annual visits, genital and fingertip samples were collected from female university students and tested for 37 HPV genotypes by PCR-based assay. Type-specific concordance between paired fingertip and genital samples was evaluated using a kappa statistic for percent positive agreement (“kappa +”). Paired samples with type-specific concordant fingertip and genital results were selected for variant characterization.
A total of 357 fingertip samples were collected from 128 women. HPV prevalence in fingertip samples was 14.3%. Although percent positive agreement between fingertips and genitals for detecting type-specific HPV was low (17.8%; kappa+=0.17, 95%CI:0.10–0.25), 60.4% of type-specific HPV detected in the fingertips was detected in a concurrent genital sample. All but one of 28 paired concordant samples were positive for the same type-specific variant in the fingertip and genital sample. Re-detection of HPV types at the subsequent visit was more common in genital samples (73.3%) than in fingertip samples (14.5%) (p<.001).
Detection of genital HPV types in the fingertips was not uncommon. While impossible to distinguish between deposition of DNA from the genitals to the fingertips and true fingertip infection, the rarity of repeat detection in the fingertips suggests that deposition is more common.
Finger-genital transmission is plausible, but unlikely to be a significant source of genital HPV infection.
PMCID: PMC2901391  PMID: 20570905
human papillomavirus; fingertip; genital; women; epidemiology
21.  Chlamydia trachomatis infection and risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2011;87(5):372-376.
High-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) is the primary cause of cervical cancer. As Chlamydia trachomatis is also linked to cervical cancer, its role as a potential co-factor in the development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 or higher was examined.
The placebo arms of two large, multinational, clinical trials of an HPV6/11/16/18 vaccine were combined. A total of 8441 healthy women aged 15–26 years underwent cervicovaginal cytology (Papanicolaou (Pap) testing) sampling and C trachomatis testing at day 1 and every 12 months thereafter for up to 4 years. Protocol-specified guidelines were used to triage participants with Pap abnormalities to colposcopy and definitive therapy. The main outcome measured was CIN.
At baseline, 2629 (31.1%) tested positive for hrHPV DNA and 354 (4.2%) tested positive for C trachomatis. Among those with HPV16/18 infection (n=965; 11.4%) or without HPV16/18 infection (n=7382, 87.5%), the hazard ratios (HRs) associated with development of any CIN grade 2 according to baseline C trachomatis status were 1.82 (95% CI: 1.06 to 3.14) and 1.74 (95% CI 1.05 to 2.90), respectively. The results were comparable when only the 12 most common hrHPV infections were considered, but the excess risk disappeared when the outcome was expanded to include CIN grade 3 or worse.
Further studies based on larger cohorts with longitudinal follow-up in relation to the C trachomatis acquisition and a thorough evaluation of temporal relationships of infections with hrHPV types, C trachomatis and cervical neoplasia are needed to demonstrate whether and how in some situations C trachomatis sets the stage for cervical carcinogenesis.
Trial registration
NCT00092521 and NCT00092534.
PMCID: PMC3252607  PMID: 21471141
Chlamydia trachomatis
22.  Evaluation of Transported Dry and Wet Cervical Exfoliated Samples for Detection of Human Papillomavirus Infection▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(9):3068-3072.
We determined the feasibility of human papillomavirus (HPV) detection in cervical exfoliated cells collected as dry swab samples. Both dry cervical swab and specimen transport medium (STM) cervical swab samples were collected from 135 patients attending either colposcopy or women's clinics in Guayaquil, Ecuador, who had a cytology diagnosis within 6 months. HPV was detected by dot blot hybridization and genotyped by the liquid bead microarray assay (LBMA). Overall, 23.1% of dry samples were positive for any high-risk HPV types, and 24.6% of STM samples were positive for any high-risk HPV types. Of 125 paired samples, the type-specific high-risk HPV proportion positive agreement was 60.7% (kappa, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53 to 0.82). Of six women with cytological evidence of invasive cervical cancer, high-risk HPV DNA was detected in three of their STM samples and in five of their dry samples. Dry samples were more likely to be insufficient for HPV testing than STM samples. Consistent with this observation, the amount of genomic DNA quantitated with the β-actin gene was almost 20 times lower in dry samples than in STM samples when detected by the real-time TaqMan assay; however, HPV DNA viral loads in dry samples were only 1.6 times lower than those in matched STM samples. We concluded that exfoliated cervical cells could be collected as dry swab samples for HPV detection.
PMCID: PMC2937663  PMID: 20610686
23.  Baseline human papillomavirus type 16 and 18 DNA load and persistence of the type-specific infection during a 2-year follow-up 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2009;200(11):1789-1797.
Studies of viral load-related persistence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection are rare, with inconsistent results reported.
Study subjects were 741 and 289 women who were positive for HPV16 and HPV18, respectively, at enrollment into in the ASCUS-LSIL Triage Study and who returned one or more times for HPV testing during a biannual 2-year follow-up. Baseline HPV16 and HPV18 copies per nanogram of cellular DNA were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Women with, compared to without, persistent infection at month 6 had higher viral load at enrollment (P<0.001 for HPV16; P=0.01 for HPV18). The association of per 1 log10-unit increase in viral load with the first 6-month persistence of HPV16 or HPV18 was statistically significant among women with multiple types at enrollment (OR=1.53, 95% CI, 1.29–1.82 for HPV16; OR=1.35, 95% CI, 1.09–1.68 for HPV18) but not among those with mono-type infections (test for interaction between viral load and coinfection: P=0.002 for HPV16; P=0.34 for HPV18). Among women who continued to be positive at month 6, 12, or 18, persisting for another 6 months was unrelated to baseline viral load.
Higher viral load of prevalent HPV16 or HPV18 infection was associated with short- but not long-term persistence.
PMCID: PMC2783915  PMID: 19848609
Human Papillomavirus; Viral Load; Persistence
24.  Relationship between cigarette smoking and human papillomavirus type 16 and 18 DNA load 
Although cigarette smoking has been associated with increased human papillomavirus (HPV) detection, its impact on HPV DNA load is unknown.
Study subjects were women who were positive for HPV16 and/or HPV18 at enrollment into the ASCUS-LSIL Triage Study. Assessments of exposure to smoke and sexual behavior were based on self-report. Viral genome copies per nanogram of cellular DNA were measured by multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction. Linear or logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between cigarette smoking and baseline viral load.
Of 1,050 women (752 with HPV16, 258 with HPV18, and 40 with both HPV16 and HPV18), 452 (43.0%) were current smokers and 101 (9.6%) were former smokers at enrollment. Baseline viral load was statistically significantly greater for current, compared to never, smokers (P = 0.03 for HPV16; P = 0.02 for HPV18), but not for former smokers. Among current smokers, neither HPV16 nor HPV18 DNA load appeared to vary appreciably by age of smoking initiation, smoking intensity or smoking duration. Results remained similar, when the analysis of smoking-related HPV16 DNA load was restricted to women without detectable cervical abnormality.
Higher baseline HPV16 and HPV18 DNA load was associated with status as a current but not former smoker. A lack of dose-response relationship between cigarette smoking and viral load may indicate a low threshold for the effect of smoking on HPV DNA load.
PMCID: PMC2920639  PMID: 19959700
Human Papillomavirus; Viral Load; cigarette smoking
25.  Longer-term efficacy of a prophylactic monovalent human papillomavirus type 16 vaccine 
Vaccine  2009;27(41):5612-5619.
We conducted an extended follow-up study (March 2006 – May 2008) to assess the longer-term efficacy of a prophylactic monovalent human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 L1 virus-like particle vaccine in women (n = 290) who had enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of this vaccine during October 1998 – November 1999 in Seattle and remained HPV-16 DNA negative during the course of that trial. During the extended follow-up period, none of the vaccine recipients was found to be infected with HPV-16 or developed HPV-16-related cervical lesions; among placebo recipients, 6 women were found to be infected with HPV-16 (vaccine efficacy [VE] = 100%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 29% – 100%) and 3 women developed HPV-16-related cervical lesions (VE = 100%; 95% CI: <0% – 100%). Approximately 86% of vaccine recipients remained HPV-16 competitive Luminex immunoassay seropositive at an average of 8.5 years of follow-up. During the combined original trial and extended follow-up period, 20 and 22 women developed any cervical lesion regardless of HPV type among the vaccine and placebo recipients, respectively (VE = 15%; 95% CI: <0% – 56%). The results suggest that this monovalent HPV-16 vaccine remains efficacious through 8.5 years after its administration.
PMCID: PMC2749988  PMID: 19647066
Human papillomavirus type 16; Prophylactic vaccines; Efficacy

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