Detection of High-Risk Human Papillomaviruses in the Prevention of Cervical Cancer in India


Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are small, non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses that infect epithelial tissues. Specific genotypes of human papillomavirus are the single most common etiological agents of cervical intraepithelial lesions and cervical cancer. Cervical cancer usually arises at squamous metaplastic epithelium of transformation zone (TZ) of the cervix featuring infection with one or more oncogenic or high-risk HPV (HRHPV) types. A hospital- based study in a rural set up was carried out to understand the association of HR-HPV with squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) and cervical cancer. In the present study, HR-HPV was detected in 65.7% of low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs), 84.6% of high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs) and 94% of cervical cancer as compared to 10.7% of controls. The association of HPV infection with SIL and cervical cancer was analyzed with Chi square test (p<0.001). The significant association found confirmed that detection of HR-HPV is a suitable candidate for early identification of cervical precancerous lesions and in the prevention of cervical cancer in India.