The prevalence of human papilloma virus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18 was investigated using the polymerase chain reaction on formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded material in 19 cases of cervical squamous cell carcinoma and in 10 normal cervices. HPV DNA was detected in 16 of 19 carcinomas, with multiple types present in 11 of these. HPV 16 or 18, or both, were present in all cases in which HPV was shown. Six of 10 cases of normal cervix contained HPV; five of these contained two or more HPV types, including HPV 16 or 18, or both. This study shows the feasibility of using the PCR on paraffin wax embedded material and indicates a high rate of carriage of multiple HPV types in both normal and neoplastic cervix.
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