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J Med Virol. 1996 Feb;48(2):161-70.

Detection and typing of human papillomavirus in biopsy and cytological specimens by polymerase chain reaction and restriction enzyme analysis: a method suitable for semiautomation.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Screening for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types allows the detection of women at a high risk of cervical squamous carcinomas, thereby defining a subset of patients targeted for more intensive screening and follow-up. Thirty-four cervical biopsy specimens and isolated cells from cervical smears of normal women or women diagnosed with high-grade intraepithelial lesion (HGSIL) were screened for the presence of HPV by in situ hybridization (ISH) and/or by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The exact HPV type was determined using a novel restriction typing method. The detection of HPV was facilitated greatly by the use of a PCR-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based method. HPV was detected by PCR in 32% of the biopsy specimens, whereas only 23% had a positive staining by ISH. In one case, a double infection was detected by ISH as well as by PCR. In two cases, the presence of HPV was detected by both methods but the exact type was different. Analyzing cells isolated from cervical smears by the PCR-ELISA technique or by PCR followed by agarose gel electrophoresis, HPV was detected only in patients with HGSIL and not in the control group. The PCR system is more sensitive than conventional ISH, and the PCR-ELISA system presented in this study is efficient in screening large series of cytological samples. Furthermore, this system allows exact HPV typing on the microtiter plate. These innovations may allow the application of HPV detection and typing as a routine screening method to identify patients with a high risk of developing cervical neoplasia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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