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BMC Infectious Diseases

, 5:77

First Online: 27 September 2005Received: 15 July 2004Accepted: 27 September 2005


BackgroundIn the last decade many studies have definitely shown that human papillomaviruses HPVs are the major cause of cervical carcinogenesis and, in the last few years, HPV testing has been proposed as a new and more powerful tool for cervical cancer screening. This issue is now receiving considerable attention in scientific and non scientific press and HPV testing could be considered the most important change in this field since the introduction of cervical cytology. This paper reports our prevalence data of HPV infection collected in the -90s, while a follow up of these patients is ongoing.

MethodsFor this study we used polymerase chain reaction PCR to search HPV DNA sequences in cervical cell scrapings obtained from 503 asymptomatic women attending regular cervical cancer screening program in the city of Genova, Italy. All patients were also submitted to a self-administered, standardized, questionnaire regarding their life style and sexual activity. On the basis of the presence of HPV DNA sequences women were separated into two groups: -infected- and -non infected- and a statistical analysis of the factors potentially associated with the infection group membership was carried out.

ResultsThe infection rate was 15.9% and the most frequent viral type was HPV 16.

ConclusionOur HPV positivity rate 15.9% was consistent to that reported by other studies on European populations.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2334-5-77 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Andrea Puppo, Domenico F Merlo, Gennaro Pasciucco, Enzo R Cusimano, Rodolfo Sirito and Claudio A Gustavino contributed equally to this work.

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