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J Clin Microbiol. 1991 Jul;29(7):1308-11.

Detection of human papillomavirus DNA in genital lesions by using a modified commercially available in situ hybridization assay.

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Department of Pathology, Magee-Women's Hospital, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.


A modified, commercially available DNA-DNA in situ hybridization test that uses biotinylated probes for the identification of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA types 6/11, 16/18, and 31/33/35 was evaluated. HPV DNA was detected in 314 of 787 (40%) histologically abnormal genital biopsy specimens by using the ViraType in situ assay (Life Technologies, Gaithersburg, Md.), in which the hybridization time was increased from 2 to 16 h. Ninety percent of positive condyloma acuminata specimens contained HPV type 6/11 DNA. The prevalences of HPV DNA for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia I, II, and III lesions by this in situ hybridization test were 42, 54, and 55%, respectively. The combined prevalence of HPV type 16/18 and 31/33/35 DNAs increased with the severity of the lesion, while the prevalence of type 6/11 DNA decreased. HPV type 6/11 DNA was found only in 1 of 16 (6%) positive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia III specimens. HPV type 16/18 and 31/33/35 DNA was detected in 11 of 16 (69%) and 4 of 16 (25%) in situ hybridization-positive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia III specimens, respectively. Thus, the observation that certain "higher-risk" HPV genotypes are associated with upper-grade cervical precancer lesions was confirmed by this commercial hybridization system. In general, the assay was found to be well suited for use in the clinical laboratory. The ViraType in situ procedure modified for a longer hybridization time may be helpful in identifying lesions containing higher-risk HPV strains.

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