Increased HPV detection by the use of a pre-heating step on vaginal self-samples analysed by Aptima HPV assay

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Background: We recently reported a sensitivity of 85.5% to detect high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL)/adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS)/cancer by the use of self-collected vaginal samples analysed by the Aptima mRNA HPV assay (AHPV). Objectives: To increase detection of HPV among self-samples. Study design: We used a pre-heating step at 90 °C for 1 h on our previously AHPV-negative self-samples (N = 20) among women with AHPV-positive cervical samples. We also analysed AHPV results before and after the heating among a series of self-samples from women who had not attended cervical screening for > 7 years (N = 173). Results: After heating, 55% (11/20) of the self-samples became AHPV-positive. By updating our original series 93.1% (121/130, 95% CI: 87.3–96.8) of the self-samples were AHPV-positive among women with AHPV-positive cervical samples, and among women with histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or worse (CIN2+) now 95.3% (61/64, 95% CI: 86.9–99.0) of the self-samples were AHPV-positive. Among the 11 AHPV-positive self-samples we detected high-risk HPV types in 10 of the samples (HPV16 3 cases, HPV18 1, HPV31 1, HPV33 1, HPV 45 1, HPV51 2, HPV 56 and 58 1, HPV42 and 90 1 [low risk]) by multiplex PCR and Luminex assay. Among the self-samples from the non-attenders 16% (27/170) and 5.3% (8/152) were AHPV-positive after and before the heating step, respectively (P = 0.0022). Concerning validity of AHPV-results, 99% (170/172) were valid after the heating step compared to 88% (152/172) before the heating step (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: A pre-heating step on vaginal self-samples increased HPV detection by the AHPV assay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-20
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology in the medical area
  • Cancer and Oncology

Free keywords

  • Cancer
  • HPV mRNA
  • Screening
  • Self-sample
  • Vaginal


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