Open Access Open Badges Research article

Baseline assessment of prevalence and geographical distribution of HPV types in Chile using self-collected vaginal samples

Catterina Ferreccio1*, Alejandro Corvalán1, Paula Margozzini1, Paola Viviani1, Claudia González2, Ximena Aguilera2 and Patti E Gravitt3

Author Affiliations

1 P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Escuela de Medicina, Santiago Chile

2 Departamento de Epidemiología, Ministerio de Salud, Santiago Chile

3 The Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Baltimore, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2008, 8:78  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-78

Published: 28 February 2008



Chile has broad variations in weather, economics and population from the far desert north (Region 1) to the cold, icy south (Region 12). A home-based self-collected vaginal sampling was nested in the 2003 Chilean population-based health survey in order to explore the possibility of a type-specific geographical variation for human papillomavirus


The population was a national probability sample of people 17 years of age and over. Consenting women provided self-collected cervicovaginal swabs in universal collection media (UCM). DNA was extracted and typed to 37 HPV genotypes using PGMY consensus PCR and line blot assay. Weighted prevalence rates and adjusted OR were calculated.


Of the 1,883 women participating in the health survey, 1,219 (64.7%) provided a cervicovaginal sample and in 1,110 (56.2% of participants and 66.5% of those eligible) the samples were adequate for analysis. Refusal rate was 16.9%. HPV prevalence was 29.2% (15.1% high-risk HPV and 14.1% low-risk HPV). Predominant high-risk types were HPV 16, 52, 51, 56 and 58. Predominant low-risk HPVs were HPV 84, CP6108, 62, 53 and 61. High-risk and low-risk HPV rates were inversely correlated between the regions. High-risk HPV prevalence was highest among the youngest women, whereas low-risk HPV increased slightly with age.


Self-obtained vaginal sampling is adequate for monitoring HPV in the community, for identifying high-risk areas, and for surveying the long term impact of interventions.