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Infect Agent Cancer. 2007 Jun 5;2:11.

Routine human papillomavirus genotyping by DNA sequencing in community hospital laboratories.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Milford Hospital, Milford, Connecticut, USA.



Human papillomavirus (HPV) genotyping is important for following up patients with persistent HPV infection and for evaluation of prevention strategy for the individual patients to be immunized with type-specific HPV vaccines. The aim of this study was to optimize a robust "low-temperature" (LoTemp) PCR system to streamline the research protocols for HPV DNA nested PCR-amplification followed by genotyping with direct DNA sequencing. The protocol optimization facilitates transferring this molecular technology into clinical laboratory practice. In particular, lowering the temperature by 10 degrees C at each step of thermocycling during in vitro DNA amplification yields more homogeneous PCR products. With this protocol, template purification before enzymatic cycle primer extensions is no longer necessary.


The HPV genomic DNA extracted from liquid-based alcohol-preserved cervicovaginal cells was first amplified by the consensus MY09/MY11 primer pair followed by nested PCR with GP5+/GP6+ primers. The 150 bp nested PCR products were subjected to direct DNA sequencing. The hypervariable 34-50 bp DNA sequence downstream of the GP5+ primer site was compared to the known HPV DNA sequences stored in the GenBank using on-line BLAST for genotyping. The LoTemp ready-to-use PCR polymerase reagents proved to be stable at room temperature for at least 6 weeks. Nested PCR detected 107 isolates of HPV in 513 cervicovaginal clinical samples, all validated by DNA sequencing. HPV-16 was the most prevalent genotype constituting 29 of 107 positive cases (27.2%), followed by HPV-56 (8.5%). For comparison, Digene HC2 test detected 62.6% of the 107 HPV isolates and returned 11 (37.9%) of the 29 HPV-16 positive cases as "positive for high-risk HPV".


The LoTemp ready-to-use PCR polymerase system which allows thermocycling at 85 degrees C for denaturing, 40 degrees C for annealing and 65 degrees C for primer extension can be adapted for target HPV DNA amplification by nested PCR and for preparation of clinical materials for genotyping by direct DNA sequencing. HPV genotyping is performed by on-line BLAST algorithm of a hypervariable L1 region. The DNA sequence is included in each report to the physician for comparison in following up patients with persistent HPV infection, a recognized tumor promoter in cancer induction.

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