Aims To assess the performance of a clinically validated human papillomavirus (HPV) test (the Cobas 4800 HPV test) in urine and self-taken vaginal specimens within a colposcopy population and to assess HPV prevalence before and after treatment across the different biospecimens.
Methods A total of 100 women attending a colposcopy clinic provided three biospecimens (a clinician-taken liquid-based cytology sample (LBC), a self-taken vaginal sample and a urine sample) for HPV testing. HPV prevalence and concordance was compared across the biospecimens and clinical performance relative to the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)2+ and CIN3+ was assessed. A total of 39 women retuned at 6 months for a post-treatment follow-up appointment, and HPV concordance in all biospecimens was measured relative to their original HPV status.
Results 65 cases of CIN2+ were detected in the baseline population; sensitivity for CIN2+ was 92% (82 to 97) for the vaginal and the LBC sample and 80.0 (68% to 88%) for the urine sample. In the follow-up (post treatment) population, women were twice as likely to be HPV positive in their urine or vaginal sample compared with the equivalent LBC sample.
Conclusions Vaginal and LBC samples showed very similar performance for the detection of CIN2+ in this population using the Cobas HPV test; further validation of these findings in screening contexts will be of value. Self-taken samples may have less utility in a ‘test of cure’ setting—given the higher prevalence of HPV relative to LBC.