BACKGROUND: Little is known regarding the human papillomaviruses (HPV) genotypes prevalent inwomen in South Africa, a country with a high incidence of cervical cancer.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and HPV genotypes in women with squamous abnormalities and normal cervixes articipating in a community-based microbicide study. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 159 cervical specimens, including 56 specimens from women with abnormal
cytology (cases) and 103 randomly selected specimens from women with normal cytology (controls), were collected. HPV was detected by consensus PCR primers and HPV genotypes were determined by Roche Linear Array® HPV genotyping assay. RESULTS: HPV genotypes were found in 91% of cases and 40% of controls (p < 0.005). High-risk HPV was
detected in all high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs), 69% of low-grade squamous intraepithelial
lesions (LSILs), 57% of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS), and 86% of ASCUS in which HSIL could not be excluded (ASCUS-H), and 73% of HPV positive controls. HPV-35was the predominant genotype in HSILs; HPV-18 in ASCUS; HPV-58 in ASCUS-H and HPV-16 in LSILs and controls. CONCLUSION: High-risk HPV prevalence was high in both cases and controls. HPV genotype distribution in HSILs was different from that reported worldwide and from other studies in South Africa.