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J Clin Microbiol. 2008 May;46(5):1606-13. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02328-07. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Evaluation of different techniques for identification of human papillomavirus types of low prevalence.

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Division of Molecular Medicine, Rudjer Bosković Institute, Bijenicka cesta 54, P.O. Box 180, Zagreb HR-10002, Croatia.


Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have been recognized as etiologic factors in a variety of diseases. Due to the large number of HPV types, methods for HPV genotyping are difficult to standardize. Despite this fact, several methods exist, and some of them are available commercially. In this study, we evaluated the Roche Diagnostics linear array (LA) HPV genotyping assay, the Innogenetics INNO-LiPA (line probe assay [LiPA]), and two noncommercial reverse line blot (RLB) assays based on either primers GP5+ and GP6+ (GP) or newly designed broad-spectrum primers BSGP5+ and BSGP6+ (BS). The reliabilities of these assays were tested with a wide spectrum of HPV types less prevalent in cervical samples. This is the first study to compare the performance of the most widely used HPV genotyping methods with selected samples positive for low-prevalence HPV types. We focused on interassay agreement, both overall and type specific, in cases with single and/or multiple HPV infections. Interassay agreement was moderate in cases of single HPV infections and poor in cases of multiple HPV infections. The LA and the BS-based RLB assays found a higher rate of cases positive for multiple HPV types than LiPA and the GP-based RLB assay. The weakest capability in detecting multiple HPV infections was observed for LiPA. The use of only one assay in epidemiological and clinical studies might lead to biased conclusions. Therefore, a universally evaluated and agreed upon HPV typing assay or a combination of current assays is needed for possible clinical applications, and knowledge of their limitations is advised.

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