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Type-specific HPV prevalence in invasive cervical cancer in the UK prior to national HPV immunisation programme: baseline for monitoring the effects of immunisation
  1. David Mesher1,
  2. Kate Cuschieri2,
  3. Sam Hibbitts3,
  4. Jackie Jamison4,
  5. Alex Sargent5,
  6. Kevin G Pollock6,
  7. Ned Powell3,
  8. Robbie Wilson4,
  9. Fiona McCall6,
  10. Alison Fiander3,
  11. Kate Soldan1
  1. 1Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, Public Health England, London, UK
  2. 2Scottish HPV Reference Lab, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3HPV Research Group, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  4. 4Cellular and Molecular Pathology Department, Antrim Hospital, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Co. Antrim, UK
  5. 5Manchester Virology Laboratory, Public Health England, Manchester, UK
  6. 6Health Protection Scotland, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to David Mesher, Public Health England, Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK; david.mesher{at}


Aims To establish the human papillomavirus (HPV) type-specific prevalence in cervical cancer and high-grade cervical lesions in the UK prior to the introduction of national HPV vaccination.

Methods Specimens of cervical cancer (n=1235) and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)3 (n=2268) were tested for HPV genotypes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Data were pooled and weighted estimates presented.

Results Among cervical cancer cases, 95.8% were positive for at least one high-risk (HR) HPV type. Restricting to those with HR HPV, the proportion positive for HPV16 and/or HPV18 was similar across countries (weighted overall prevalence 83.0%). This proportion decreased with increasing age at diagnosis (p=0.0005). HPV31, HPV33, HPV45, HPV52 and/or HPV58 were detected in 16.1% of HR HPV-positive cervical cancers and there was no significant association with age for these types. For HR HPV-positive CIN3 cases, there was a similar age-specific pattern with the highest positivity of HPV16 and/or HPV18 in the youngest age group (77.2%). The proportion of HR HPV CIN3 cases positive for HPV31, HPV33, HPV45, HPV52 and/or HPV58 was 36.3% in those aged <30 years at diagnosis.

Conclusions The prevalence of HPV 16 and/or 18 was high in all UK countries and highest in those diagnosed at a younger age. The UK is well placed to monitor the impact of HPV vaccination on type-specific HPV prevalence in cervical disease.

  • HPV

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