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J Med Virol. 2005 Nov;77(3):430-8.

High prevalence of high-risk oncogenic human papillomaviruses harboring atypical distribution in women of childbearing age living in Libreville, Gabon.

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Laboratoire de Virologie, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.


The extent of human papillomavirus (HPV) genital shedding and type-specific diversity were evaluated in 354 consecutive women of childbearing age living in Libreville, Gabon. Detection of HPV DNA was performed by PCR using the MY09/MY11 primer set on DNA extracted from endocervical swabs. All PCR positive specimens were subjected to direct sequencing and HPV genotypes were identified on the basis of >95% sequence homology in the L1 region. Reverse line blot hybridization assay was used when a genotype could not be resolved by sequencing alone. HPV DNA was detected in 163 (46%) women, all clinically asymptomatic for HPV-related lesions. The highest prevalence of genital HPV detection (45%) was in the age group from 22 to 29 years. A total of 90 women (55%) harbored high-risk (HR) genotypes, with the most common being HPV-53 (19; 12%), HPV-58 (17; 11%), and HPV-16 (16; 10%). Low-risk genotypes were found in 36 (22%) women with HPV-54 and HPV-70 being the most frequently detected (17; 11% and 10; 6%, respectively). Finally 37 women (23%) tested positive for genotypes of unknown oncogenic risk, the most common in this category being HPV-83 (20; 12%). Multiple infections were detected in 35 (21%) women. By multivariate analysis, HPV genital shedding was significantly associated with young age (OR: 0.34; P < 0.007). The multivalent vaccine currently available against cervical carcinomas, is only active against HPV-16 and HPV-18, and will thus have a low impact in this setting.

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