Molecular diagnosis of human papillomavirus in the development of cervical cancer

Lourdes Gutiérrez-Xicoténcatl, Tanya Plett-Torres, Claudia L Madrid-González, Vicente Madrid-Marina
2009 Salud Pública de México  
Cervical cancer (CC) is a major public health problem in developing countries and its most significant etiological risk factor is infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The main approach to date for the prevention of CC has been through screening programs, using the cervical smear (PAP test) to detect precursory lesions. The sensitivity and specificity of the PAP smear depend on the skills of the observer to recognize and classify a variety of cellular abnormalities. The development of
more » ... e development of early diagnoses to detect HPV infection has been a problem as cytology and colposcopy identify the lesion at an advanced stage. Therefore, molecular approaches have become more successful for early CC diagnosis. These molecular techniques recognize HPV DNA sequences by DNA hybridization, PCR-RFLP, hybrid capture and reverse line blot systems. Unfortunately, these systems cannot determine whether the HPV infection is active, latent or persistent. Thus, immunological techniques such as Western blot and ELISA have been designed to follow the immune response against the virus, and they can also be used to identify the stage of the infection. Several companies have developed, manufactured and merchandised gene-based testing systems for the screening, monitoring and diagnosis of HPV. Our review and comments focus on the critical analysis of existing products and their use in clinical practice as well as on immunological systems used mainly in research, but that may be applied in large population screening programs. Gutiérrez-Xicoténcatl L, Plett-Torres T, Madrid-González CL, Madrid-Marina V. Diagnóstico molecular del virus del papiloma humano en el desarrollo del cáncer cervical. Salud Publica Mex 2009;51 supl 3:S479-S488.
doi:10.1590/s0036-36342009000900014 fatcat:hfxhxm5bavg5lgxhqxszh4hf4u