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Distribution and viral load of type specific HPVs in different cervical lesions as detected by PCR-ELISA
  1. M Zerbini1,
  2. S Venturoli1,
  3. M Cricca1,
  4. G Gallinella1,
  5. P De Simone2,
  6. S Costa2,
  7. D Santini3,
  8. M Musiani1
  1. 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Microbiology, Osp.S.Orsola, University of Bologna,Via Massarenti 9, I 40138, Bologna, Italy
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Bologna
  3. 3Department of Pathology, University of Bologna
  1. Professor Zerbini mzerbini{at}


Aims—To investigate the distribution and viral load of the most prevalent high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18, 31, 33, and 45 and low risk HPV types 6 and 11 in a variety of cervical lesions.

Methods—One hundred and seventy six cytological specimens from women with different cervical lesions were investigated. For an accurate standardisation of the sample, cervical cells were counted and a volume of the cell suspension processed by polymerase chain reaction-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (PCR-ELISA). Semiquantitative determinations were achieved in relation to an external reference titration curve.

Results—HPV DNA was detected in 60.2% of the samples. HPV-16 was the prevalent genotype (57.6%), followed by HPV-33, HPV-31, HPV-6, HPV-18, and HPV-45. HPV-11 was not detected. HPV-16 showed a pronounced increase in prevalence with the evolution of cervical disease. Semiquantitative evaluation of the results showed that only HPV-16 DNA could reach very high values (> 1000 genome copies/cell) and a very high HPV-16 load correlated with the severity of cervical disease.

Conclusions—Only HPV-16 load appears to be associated with the severity of cervical disease.

  • human papillomavirus distribution
  • viral load
  • cervical lesions

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