Prevalence and type specific papillomavirus load in female anal infection

Abstract number: P545

Pierangeli A., Scagnolari C., Degener A.M., Ferreri M.L., Bucci M., Riva E., Indinnimeo M., Fiore A., D'Ettorre G., Vullo V., Antonelli G.

Objectives: HPV persistence and progression has been recognized as strongly associated to anal as well as to cervical carcinoma; however, epidemiologic data have shown no reduction in the incidence of anal cancer so far, probably due to an increase in high-risk sexual behaviours. Besides high-risk groups, HPV infection in the anal canal occurs in immuno-competent individuals even in the absence of anal intercourse. To date, the role of HPV-type specific infection in anal lesions in women have been addressed in a few studies. Hence, the aim of this study was to monitor female anal infection, in terms of prevalence of HPV genotypes and type-specific viral load.

Methods: The presence of specific HPV genotypes in anal and cervical brushings was determined by two different PCR assays followed by sequencing, a method that allows the identification of a wide range of HPV types. Type-specific viral load was measured using a quantitative real-time PCR fluorogenic assay with TaqMan probes and primers designed for 14 HPV genotypes in the E6 genomic region.

Results: Anal brushings were collected from 12 HIV-positive and 40 HIV-negative women attending a proctology clinic. The prevalence of high-risk HPVs in anal samples were higher than in cervical samples (67% vs. 25%). HPV genotypes detected in anal samples were: HPV 16 (4 cases), HPV 6 (3 cases), HPV 31 and HPV 53 (2 cases each), and HPVs 62, 66, 74 and 84 (1 case each). Considering the women for whom anal and cervical cells were concurrently obtained, anal HPV was more common than cervical HPV in HIV-positive (63% vs. 37%) women; conversely, only about 10% of HIV-negative women harboured anal HPV infection vs. 37% of cervical HPV infection. The simultaneous presence of the same genotype occurred only in 2 out of 8 HPV positive women with both anal and cervical samples. The analysis of the association between grade of lesions, immune status and HPV load is in progress.

Conclusion: Our study confirmed the high prevalence of HPV anal infection in HIV-positive female patients. The distribution of high-risk HPVs in anal samples supported the need to develop HPV screening programs in anal brushings.

Session Details

Date: 16/05/2009
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 19th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Helsinki, Finland, 16 - 19 May 2009
Presentation type:
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