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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Low-cost HPV testing and the prevalence of cervical infection in asymptomatic populations in Guatemala

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Hong Lou, Eduardo Gharzouzi, Sarita Polo Guerra, Joël Fokom Domgue, Julie Sawitzke, Guillermo Villagran, Lisa Garland, Joseph F. Boland, Sarah Wagner, Héctor Rosas, Jami Troxler, Heidi McMillen, Bailey Kessing, Enrique Alvirez, Miriam Castillo, Hesler Morales, Victor Argueta, Andert Rosingh, Femke J. H. B. van Aerde-van Nunen, Griselda Lopez, Herbert M. Pinedo, Mark Schiffman, Michael Dean, Roberto Orozco
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-018-4438-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-020-6672-3.



A low cost and accurate method for detecting high-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) is important to permit HPV testing for cervical cancer prevention. We used a commercially available HPV method (H13, Hybribio) which was documented to function accurately in a reduced volume of cervical specimen to determine the most prevalent HPV types and the distribution of HPV infections in over 1795 cancer-free women in Guatemala undergoing primary screening for cervical cancer by cytology.


HR-HPV detection was attempted in cervical samples from 1795 cancer-free women receiving Pap smears using the Hybribio™ real-time PCR assay of 13 HR types. The test includes a globin gene internal control. HPV positive samples were sequenced to determine viral type. Age-specific prevalence of HPV was also assessed in the study population.


A total of 13% (226/1717) of women tested HPV+, with 78 samples (4.3%) failing to amplify the internal control. The highest prevalence was found in younger women (< 30 years, 22%) and older ones (≥60 years, 15%). The six most common HR-HPV types among the 148 HPV+ typed were HPV16 (22%), HPV18 (11%), HPV39 (11%), HPV58 (10%), HPV52 (8%), and HPV45 (8%).


In this sample of cancer free women in Guatemala, HPV16 was the most prevalent HR type in Guatemala and the age-specific prevalence curve peaked in younger ages. Women in the 30-59-year age groups had a prevalence of HR-HPV of 8%, however, larger studies to better describe the epidemiology of HPV in Guatemala are needed.
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