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J Clin Microbiol. 2010 Nov;48(11):4147-55. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00918-10. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Global proficiency study of human papillomavirus genotyping.

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WHO HPV LabNet Global Reference Laboratory, Department of Clinical and Medical Microbiology, Laboratory Medicine Skåne, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.


Internationally comparable quality assurance of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA detection and typing methods is essential for evaluation of HPV vaccines and effective monitoring and implementation of HPV vaccination programs. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) HPV Laboratory Network (LabNet) designed an international proficiency study. Following announcement at the WHO website, the responding laboratories performed HPV typing using one or more of their usual assays on 43 coded samples composed of titration series of purified plasmids of 16 HPV types (HPV6, -11, -16, -18, -31, -33, -35, -39, -45, -51, -52, -56, -58, -59, -66, and -68). Detection of at least 50 IU of HPV16 or HPV18 DNA and of 500 genome equivalents (GE) of the other 14 HPV types (in samples with single and multiple HPV types) was considered proficient. Fifty-four laboratories worldwide submitted a total of 84 data sets. More than 21 HPV-genotyping assays were used. Commonly used methods were Linear Array, Lineblot, InnoLiPa, Clinical Array, type-specific real-time PCR, PCR-Luminex and microarray assays. The major oncogenic HPV types (HPV16 and -18) were detected in 89.7% (70/78) and 92.2% (71/77) of the data sets, respectively. HPV types 56, 59, and 68 were the least commonly detected types (in less than 80% of the data sets). Twenty-eight data sets reported multiple false-positive results and were considered nonproficient. In conclusion, we found that international proficiency studies, traceable to international standards, allow standardized quality assurance for different HPV-typing assays and enable the comparison of data generated from different laboratories worldwide.

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