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J Virol. May 1996; 70(5): 3127–3136.
PMCID: PMC190175

Intratype variation in 12 human papillomavirus types: a worldwide perspective.


In this study, we have examined intratype human papillomavirus (HPV) sequence variation in a worldwide collection of cervical specimens. Twelve different HPV types including HPV-18, HPV-33, HPV-35, HPV-39, HPV-45, HPV-51, HPV-52, HPV-58, HPV-59, HPV-68 (ME180), MM9/PAP238A (recently designated HPV-73), and a novel partial genomic HPV sequence designated MM4/Wl3B were analyzed in this study. Cervical specimens were collected as part of epidemiological investigations conducted in New Mexico and an international study of invasive cervical cancer (IBSCC). Specimens from several countries including Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Benin, Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Germany, Mali, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, Algeria, Uganda, Guinea, Tanzania, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and the United States were evaluated. Specimen DNAs were subjected to amplification with the MY09/11 L1 consensus PCR system. The PCR products were cloned, and an approximately 410-bp region in the L1 open reading frame was sequenced from 146 specimens (approximately 60,000 bp). Within a single HPV type, nucleotide diversity varied between 0.2 and 2.9% (i.e., between any pair of variants) and the majority of nucleotide changes were synonymous (amino acid conserving). These data provide information pertinent to HPV diagnostic probe development and are potentially relevant to future rational vaccine strategies. Similarly, amino acid diversity varied between 0 and 5.1%. Some of these amino acid changes may represent markers of intertype evolutionary relationships. Presuming that HPVs have evolved under the same constraints as their corresponding hosts, the limited genetic diversity observed for all HPVs studied to date may reflect an evolutionary bottleneck occurring in both virus and host populations.

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