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J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Feb;52(2):449-59. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02453-13. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Global improvement in genotyping of human papillomavirus DNA: the 2011 HPV LabNet International Proficiency Study.

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


Accurate and internationally comparable human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA genotyping is essential for HPV vaccine research and for HPV surveillance. The HPV Laboratory Network (LabNet) has designed international proficiency studies that can be issued regularly and in a reproducible manner. The 2011 HPV genotyping proficiency panel contained 43 coded samples composed of purified plasmids of 16 HPV types (HPV6, -11, -16, -18, -31, -33, -35, -39, -45, -51, -52, -56, -58, -59, -66, -68a, and -68b) and 3 extraction controls. Tests that detected 50 IU of HPV16 and HPV18 and 500 genome equivalents for the other 14 HPV types in both single and multiple infections were considered proficient. Ninety-six laboratories worldwide submitted 134 data sets. Twenty-five different HPV genotyping assay methods were used, including the Linear Array, line blot/INNO-LiPA, PapilloCheck, and PCR Luminex assays. The major oncogenic HPV types, HPV16 and HPV18, were proficiently detected in 97.0% (113/116) and 87.0% (103/118) of the data sets, respectively. In 2011, 51 data sets (39%) were 100% proficient for the detection of at least one HPV type, and 37 data sets (28%) were proficient for all 16 HPV types; this was an improvement over the panel results from the 2008 and 2010 studies, when <25 data sets (23% and 19% for 2008 and 2010, respectively) were fully proficient. The improvement was also evident for the 54 laboratories that had also participated in the previous proficiency studies. In conclusion, a continuing global proficiency program has documented worldwide improvement in the comparability and reliability of HPV genotyping assay performances.

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