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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

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Cervical human papillomavirus screening by PCR: advantages of targeting the E6/E7 region

Brian J. Morris
  • Basic & Clinical Genomics Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences and Institute for Biomedical Research, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Published Online: 2005-10-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2005.203


PCR is a promising method for detection of human papillomavirus (HPV), the high-risk forms of which are responsible for cervical cancer. PCR primers that target the L1 or E1 region can be unreliable and may miss more advanced disease, whereas those directed at the E6 or E7 regions, which encode oncogenic products, are preferable because 1) the LI/E1 regions, but never the E6/E7 regions, are lost during integration of viral DNA into host genomic DNA, a process that can represent an integral component of progression from infection to tumorigenesis; and 2) the E6/E7 nucleotide sequence exhibits less nucleotide variation. The choice of region used for PCR has implications for HPV screening strategies in the clinical diagnosis and management of cervical cancer.

Keywords: cervical cancer; cervical dysplasia; cervical intrepithelial neoplasia (CIN); diagnostic testing; oncogenes; open reading frames E6, E7, E1, E2 and L1; papillomavirus, human; PCR; viral integration

Corresponding author: Brian J. Morris, Basic & Clinical Genomics Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences and Institute for Biomedical Research, Building F13, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia Phone: +61-2-9351 3688, Fax: +61-2-9351 2227,

Received: June 29, 2005

Accepted: September 5, 2005

Published Online: 2005-10-19

Published in Print: 2005-11-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 43, Issue 11, Pages 1171–1177, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2005.203, October 2005

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