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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 119-122

Molecular Diagnosis of Human Papillomavirus: Comparison Between Cervical and Vaginal Sampling

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Georges-Orthodox Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon
2Department of Laboratory Medicine, St. Georges-Orthodox Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon
3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
4Department of Medical Biochemistry , College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, P.O. Box 22979, Manama, Bahrain

Received 28 November 2000; Accepted 3 April 2001

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most significant cause of cervical cancer. In view of the number of drawbacks associated with endocervical sampling, the gold standard for HPV detection, this study examined the utility and specificity of vaginal sampling as an alternative for endocervical sampling for the routine detection of HPV.

Case study: The study comprised 51 women who tested positive and 54 women who tested negative for endocervical HPV by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), confirmed by histopathology. At the time of specimen collection, both (speculum-assisted) endocervical and vaginal (no speculum) scrapings were isolated from HPV positive and negativewomen, and HPV DNA was assessed by PCR using the MY09/MY11 primer system;HPV type was identified by hybridization of PCR products with type-specific biotinylated DNA probes. Each participant served as her own control. HPV was detected in vaginal and cervical scrapes from all HPV-positive but not HPV-negative women. In HPV-positive women the same HPV type was found in vaginal and endocervical scrapings (positive predictive value = 1.0).

Conclusion: Correlation between vaginal and endocervical sampling methods was excellent in detecting the presence of HPV DNA and for identifying distinct HPV genotypes. Utilization of vaginal testing for routine HPV detection, and for the long-term follow-up of persistent HPV infection, is therefore recommended.