Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cancer and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Human papillomavirus prevalence and type-distribution in women with cervical lesions: a cross-sectional study in Sri Lanka

Kanishka Karunaratne1, Himali Ihalagama1, Saman Rohitha1, Anco Molijn2, Kusuma Gopala3, Johannes E Schmidt4*, Jing Chen5, Sanjoy Datta4 and Shailesh Mehta6

Author Affiliations

1 National Cancer Institute, Maharagama, Sri Lanka

2 DDL Diagnostic Laboratory, Rijswijk, The Netherlands

3 GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Bangalore, India

4 GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Wavre, Belgium

5 GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Pte Ltd, Singapore, Singapore

6 GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Mumbai, India

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2014, 14:116  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-116

Published: 21 February 2014



Cervical cancer ranks second among all cancers reported in Sri Lankan women. This study assessed the prevalence and type-distribution of human papillomavirus (HPV) among Sri Lankan women with invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and pre-cancerous lesions.


114 women aged 21 years and above, hospitalized in the National Cancer Institute, Sri Lanka with a diagnosis of ICC or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2/3 were prospectively enrolled between October 2009 and September 2010 (110430/NCT01221987). The cervical biopsy or excision specimens collected during routine clinical procedures were subjected to histopathological review. DNA was extracted from samples with a confirmed histological diagnosis and was amplified using polymerase chain reaction and HPV DNA was detected using Enzyme Immuno Assay. HPV positive samples were typed using reverse hybridization Line Probe Assay.


Of the cervical samples collected, 93.0% (106/114) had a histologically confirmed diagnosis of either ICC (98/106) or CIN 2/3 (8/106). Among all ICC cases, squamous cell carcinoma was diagnosed in the majority of women (81.6% [80/98]). HPV prevalence among ICC cases was 84.7% (83/98). The HPV types most commonly detected in ICC cases with single HPV infection (98.8% [82/83]) were HPV-16 (67.3%) and HPV-18 (9.2%). Infection with multiple HPV types was recorded in a single case (co-infection of HPV-16 and HPV-59).


HPV was prevalent in most women with ICC in Sri Lanka; HPV-16 and HPV-18 were the predominantly detected HPV types. An effective prophylactic vaccine against the most prevalent HPV types may help to reduce the burden of ICC disease.

Cervical cancer; Human papillomavirus; Prevalence; Sri Lanka; Type-distribution