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A review of methods for detect human Papillomavirus infection

André L P Abreu, Raquel P Souza, Fabrícia Gimenes and Marcia E L Consolaro*

Author Affiliations

Division of Clinical Cytology, Department of Clinical Analysis and Biomedicine, State University of Maringá, Av. Colombo 5790, 87020-900, Paraná, Brazil

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:262  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-262

Published: 6 November 2012


Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus. Worldwide, the most common high-risk (HR)-HPV are -16/18, and approximately 70% of cervical cancers (CC) are due to infection by these genotypes. Persistent infection by HR-HPV is a necessary but not sufficient cause of this cancer, which develops over a long period through precursor lesions, which can be detected by cytological screening. Although this screening has decreased the incidence of CC, HPV-related cervical disease, including premalignant and malignant lesions, continues to be a major burden on health-care systems. Although not completely elucidated, the HPV-driven molecular mechanisms underlying the development of cervical lesions have provided a number of potential biomarkers for both diagnostic and prognostic use in the clinical management of women with HPV-related cervical disease, and these biomarkers can also be used to increase the positive predictive value of current screening methods. In addition, they can provide insights into the biology of HPV-induced cancer and thus lead to the development of nonsurgical therapies. Considering the importance of detecting HPV and related biomarkers, a variety of methods are being developed for these purposes. This review summarizes current knowledge of detection methods for HPV, and related biomarkers that can be used to discriminate lesions with a high risk of progression to CC.

Human Papillomavirus; Detection methods; Biomarkers; Cervical cancer; Cervical lesions progression