What is Human Papillomavirus Infection?
Human papillomavirus infection, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, can cause skin or mucous membrane growths (warts). Worse still, HPV infections may cause different kinds of cancers, among which cervical cancer is one of the most widespread ones resulting in 341,831 deaths annually.
Worth mentioning is that 95% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV infection. With such a surprisingly high figure, people should attach importance to the consequence of HPV infection. More importantly, they should be careful if there are some symptoms.
Figure 1: HPV causing cervical cancer
As one of the major consequences of HPV infection, cervical cancer shows the following symptoms.
Symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer
- Bleeding between periods in reproductive women.
- Postmenopausal bleeding.
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse.
- Increased vaginal discharge with foul smelling.
Severe symptoms of the advancement of cervical cancer
- Persistent pain, including in the back, leg, or pelvic.
- Weight loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Vaginal discomfort along with discharge with foul smelling.
- Swelling of a leg or lower extremities.
As far as the causes of HPV infection are concerned, the entrance of the virus through any small tear in the skin, cut, or abrasion may cause infection. Also, it may be transferred through skin contact in the following ways.
- Sexual intercourse or anal sex are the main reasons for genital HPV infections.
- Other HPV infections may be caused by upper respiratory lesions through oral sex.
- Direct contact with a wart is one of the leading causes of HPV infection.
High-risk Groups for HPV Infection
HPV infection is common, while certain people are at a higher risk for HPV infection. Here are the examples:
Women with specific habits – Among women infected with HPV, smoking increases their risk of cervical cancer, making it harder to treat abnormal cells on the cervix.
Apart from smoking, women using oral contraceptives for a long time are also at high risk for cervical cancer.
It is reported that 1 in every 10 cases of cervical cancer is linked to taking the contraceptive pill.
Women with children – Women with children are also at a higher risk of cervical cancer caused by HPV infection than those without.
People with many sexual partners – People with more sexual partners are more prone to contracting genital HPV. The risk factor of HPV increases with multiple partners.
Partner with rich sexual history – In addition to having many sexual partners, the sexual history of partners also matters. If a woman has a partner with rich sexual history before, she is more likely to suffer from cervical cancer caused by HPV infection.
People with a weak immune system – It is studied that a weak immune system makes people more inclined to HPV and other infections. The immune system suppressing drugs may weaken the immune system and make people vulnerable to HPV.
The Current Situation of Human Papillomavirus Infection
HPV infections are widespread, with more than 800 million people currently infected globally. Worth mentioning is that screening, is the public health policy recommended globally. High-risk HPV infections that persist can cause cancer.
Fortunately, nearly all cervical cancers can be avoided by early detection of high-risk types of HPV that are not clearing on their own.
HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59,66 and 68 are high-risk HPV types that are relatively prevalent around the globe.
Screening women for the human papillomavirus (HPV) reduces the likelihood of advanced cervical cancer and the number of deaths from cervical cancer, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Types 16 and 18 are particularly malicious since they are responsible for up to 70% of cervical malignancies in women, to which high importance must be attached.
WHO guideline specifically refers to partial genotyping (e. the detection of HPV16 and 18 versus other carcinogenic types) to identify women at the highest risk of cervical cancer among those testing positive for HPV.
Fig 2: Ways to prevent HPV infection
Applications of PCR Testing in Diagnosis of HPV Infection
Since screening benefits people regarding HPV infection prevention, people need to accept screening regularly.
It is done by the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which is a selective target amplification assay. The PCR test is widely used to diagnose certain infectious diseases, genetic changes, and cancer cells, especially HPV infection.
Here are its merits that make it sought-after in HPV infection.
Precise diagnosis. Compared to other tests, the PCR test is easier to find evidence of disease in the earliest stage of infection.
Even if there is only a very small amount of pathogens, the PCR test can detect disease, enabling people to accept proper treatment once they find HPV infection.
Fast speed. It is one of the most noteworthy advantages of the PCR test in the diagnosis of HPV infection.
The PCR test creates replicas, delivering results in less time than culturing and other methods. In this way, people can make decisions for treatment as soon as possible.
Sansure has launched a product that detects the HPV infection situation named HPV DNA Diagnostic Kit (HPV 13+2).
Not only does it cover the 15 HPV types mentioned above and satisfy the global market’s demand for HPV screening, but it also differentiates HPV 16 and 18 detection, thereby responding to the WHO initiative.
With its high cost-efficiency and easy operation, Sansure satisfies both large-scale screening and daily diagnosis, making it one of the best choices.
Figure 4: Product, HPV DNA Diagnostic Kit (HPV 13+2)
Specification of HPV DNA Diagnostic Kit (HPV 13+2) for Diagnosis of HPV Infection
|Specimen type||Exfoliated cells from females’ cervix|
|Technical platform||One-tube fast-release technology
Advanced magnetic beads technology
|Detection types||type 16+18+31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68|
|Internal control||β–globin gene|
|PCR instruments||ABI7500, SLAN-96P|
|Amplification time||70 min|