Researchers in the United States, Malaysia, and Peru teamed up to collaborate on a study comparing HPV genotyping methods titled ‘Comparison of Hybribio GenoArray and Roche human papillomavirus (HPV) Linear Array for HPV genotyping in anal swab samples’. The article was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections globally. Although high risk HPV is more commonly associated with cervical cancer, HPV infection is also prevalent in men (up to 84.3 percent prevalence in sexually active men), and associated with other malignancies including anal, vulvar, vaginal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. Anal cancer is relatively rare (incidence of 1 per 100,000 population). However, in view of the gradual increase in anal cancer rates, there is a growing need for more routine anal cancer screening. In resource-limited settings, routine screening of anal health is minimal. As HPV DNA could be found in up to 94% of precancerous anal lesions, the detection of HPV DNA may potentially be a relevant screening tool for these settings.
We set out to evaluate the HPV genotyping kit Hybribio Rapid HPV GenoArray (GA) for its efficiency in genotyping HPV in anal swab samples. In comparison with more established kits like the Roche Linear Array (LA), GA is almost 25 percent the cost and its hybridization time is approximately half of LA’s. GA would be a suitable kit in resource-limited settings. Anal swab samples from 200 sexually active men who have sex with men in Peru were genotyped using both GA and LA. Out of the 161 samples with sufficient DNA, 68 percent (GA) and 76 percent (LA) were HPV DNA positive. The most prevalent HPV genotypes detected were 16, 18, 51, 52, 53, 58, 59, all high-risk HPV genotypes. There was good overall interassay agreement (87 percent); however, LA was found to be able to detect more individual HPV genotypes in samples with multiple HPV infections. GA had poorer detection of HPV 35, 42 and 51 compared to LA.
GA could be used as a reasonable HPV genotyping kit for anal swab samples, as it showed good inter-assay agreement in comparison to LA. Although the clinical utility of HPV testing in anal cancer screening and management has not been thoroughly evaluated, it is likely that anal HPV genotyping could be valid clinical predictive tool for the risk of development of anal neoplasia when used in combination with other screening methods. The clinical significance and benefits of HPV genotyping as the only screening tool warrants further evaluation.
Manuscript authors include Dr. Huey Chi Low, Mr. Chan Yoon Leng, and Dr. Yin Ling Woo from the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS at University Malaya Medical Center, Dr. Michelle I Silver from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Dr. Brandon Brown from the UC Irvine Program in Public Health GHREAT Initiative, Dr. Magaly Blas from the Epidemiology, STD and HIV Unit in the School of Public Health and Administration at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Dr Patti E. Gravitt from the Department of Pathology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.