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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

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Volume 49, Issue 11 (Nov 2011)


Human papilloma virus (HPV) molecular diagnostics

Christos Kroupis
  • Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Attikon University Hospital, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
/ Nikolaos Vourlidis
  • Department of Cytology, Mitera Maternity and Surgery Center, Athens, Greece
Published Online: 2011-08-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm.2011.685


Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is becoming a menace worldwide, especially to the developing world, due to its involvement in a variety of malignancies, with cervical cancer being the most important and prevalent. There are many HPV types; HPV 16/18 are the most carcinogenic but few others are also characterized as high-risk (HR). They can cause a variety of low- or high-grade cellular abnormalities, most frequently detected in a routine Pap test. Most infections clear within 2 years, however, a minority persists and potentially could progress to cervical cancer. Molecular tests detecting HPV DNA, RNA or proteins are now being available either commercially or in-house developed. DNA detection is nowadays an established tool for diagnosis and monitoring of HPV-related disease, however, there is lack of a reference method and standardization with reference materials. The various available test formats create confusion on which molecular test to choose and what are its limitations. Therefore, the need for lab accreditation and participation in proficiency testing has to be stressed. Novel HPV biomarkers (RNA, protein etc.) are now intensively examined for their inclusion as adjunct tools. Recently, developed prophylactic vaccines for HPV 16/18 have already proven safe and efficient and raise high expectations for the complete eradication of these types in the future.

Keywords: cervical cancer; DNA/RNA biomarkers; HPV; molecular diagnostics; viral persistence

About the article

Corresponding author: Christos Kroupis, MSc, PhD, Asst. Prof. of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Attikon University Hospital, University of Athens Medical School, 1 Rimini Street, Haidari 12462, Greece[ep Phone: +30-210-5831919, Fax: +30-210-6547748,

Received: 2011-01-30

Accepted: 2011-07-27

Published Online: 2011-08-30

Published in Print: 2011-11-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm.2011.685. Export Citation

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