Human Papillomavirus Infection among Bolivian Amazonian Women


Cervical cancer is the most common malignancy among women in Latin America. Human papilloma virus infectionis known to be an important risk factor. However, HPV infection among Bolivian women has not yet been fullyevaluated. The present study aimed to investigate HPV infection among women living in a rural region of the BolivianAmazon. Cervical swab samples were collected from 151 healthy women in three Amazonian villages. From everywoman, two samples were collected by cotton swab; one for cytological examination and the other for ethanolpreservationof cervical epithelial cells for HPV DNA testing. High molecular DNA was extracted from the ethanolpreservedcervical epithelial cells and tested for HPV DNA by a PCR-RFLP protocol.Ethanol-preserved cervical epithelial cells remained suitable for DNA isolation and PCR amplification of humanβ-globin and HPV E6/E7 genes, 25 days after sample collection in the field. HPV-31, HPV-58 and HPV-6 weredetected in the studied population. The overall prevalence of HPV infection among Bolivian Amazonian women was8.0%. Neither dual nor multiple HPV infections were found in any of the positive samples.This is the first report of HPV prevalence and type distribution among Bolivian Amazonian women. Our newmethod for preservation of cervical epithelial cells in ethanol may be useful for viro-epidemiological studies in ruralareas.