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Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Mar;30(3):246-8.

Poor sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction assays of genital skin swabs and urine to detect HPV 6 and 11 DNA in men.

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Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.



A possible reason for the failure to detect human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in asymptomatic men who are likely to be infected is the sensitivity of the detection methods.


The goal of this study was to identify a method for sampling the anogenital skin of men that was simple and well tolerated and that would permit the detection of asymptomatic or subclinical HPV infection, which is thought to occur commonly in sexually active men.


Swabs of genital skin and urine from men at high and low risk of infection with types 6 and 11 were tested for HPV by polymerase chain reaction.


These specimens had a low sensitivity for HPV detection, often because inadequate material was collected on the swab.


Noninvasive sampling of genital skin to identify individuals with subclinical HPV infection remains a challenge. Future studies should involve the use of more abrasive sampling devices (such as cytobrushes), perhaps combined with some type of soap to dislodge more epithelial cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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