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Open Access Short Report

Prevalence of human papillomavirus in archival samples obtained from patients with cervical pre-malignant and malignant lesions from Northeast Brazil

José V Fernandes1*, Rosely V Meissner1, Maria GF Carvalho2, Thales AAM Fernandes3, Paulo RM Azevedo4, João S Sobrinho5, José CM Prado5 and Luisa L Villa5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Av. Sen. Salgado Filho, S/N, Lagoa Nova, CEP: 59072-970, Natal, RN, Brazil

2 Department of Pathology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Av. Gal. Gustavo Cordeiro de Farias, S/N, Petrópolis, CEP 59010-180 Natal, RN, Brazil

3 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Rio Grande do Norte State, Rua Miguel Antônio da Silva Neto, S/N, CEP: 59607-360, Mossoró-RN, Brazil

4 Department of Statistics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Av. Sen. Salgado Filho, S/N, Lagoa Nova, CEP: 59072-970, Natal, RN, Brazil

5 Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz, Rua João Julião, 245, 1° Andar, Paraíso, CEP 01323-903, São Paulo-SP, Brazil

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:96  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-96

Published: 8 April 2010

Abstract

Background

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is considered as a necessary, but not sufficient, cause of cervical cancer. In this study, we aimed to assess the prevalence of HPV in a series of pre-malignant and malignant cervical lesion cases, to identify the virus genotypes, and to assess their distribution pattern according to lesion type, age range, and other considered variables. The samples were submitted to histopathological revision examination and analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of HPV DNA, followed by HPV typing by dot blot hybridisation.

Findings

Of the analysed samples, 53.7% showed pre-malignant cervical lesions, and 46.3% presented with cervical cancer. Most cancer samples (84.1%) were classified as invasive carcinoma. The mean age of these cancer patients was 47.3 years. The overall HPV prevalence was 82.4% in patients with pre-malignant lesions and 92.0% in the cancer patients. HPV 16 was the most prevalent type, followed by HPV 18 and 58, including both single and double infections. Double infection was detected in 11.6% of the samples, and the most common combination was HPV 16+18.

Conclusions

Cervical cancer appears to occur in women in a lower age range in the studied area, compared to the situation in other Brazilian regions. Furthermore, among the patients with CIN 3 and those with cancer, we observed a higher proportion of married women, women with more than one sexual partner, smokers, and individuals with less than an elementary education, relative to their counterparts.

Findings

The overall HPV prevalence was 82.4% in patients with pre-malignant lesions and 92.0% in the cervical cancer patients from Northeast Brazil. HPV 16 was the most prevalent type, followed by HPV 18 and 58. The most common double infection was HPV 16+18. Cervical cancer appears to occur in women in a lower age range in the Northeast Brazil. Among the patients with CIN 3 and those with cancer, we observed a higher proportion of married women, women with more than one sexual partner, smokers, and individuals with less than an elementary education, relative to their counterparts.