19 Feb HPV analysis and its clinical impact
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both sexes.
It is estimated that about 80% of sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives. Although most cases of HPV are asymptomatic and resolve spontaneously without treatment, some types of HPV can cause genital warts, and some can even lead to cancer.
The diagnosis of HPV is usually based on clinical examination and laboratory tests.
A physical examination of the genital area may reveal the presence of visible genital warts, which are caused by certain types of HPV.
A Pap test may also be done, which involves collecting cells from the cervix or anus and examining them under a microscope for signs of abnormal growth or changes that may be associated with HPV infection.
In addition, HPV can be detected by various laboratory tests, such as PCR tests, which can directly identify the presence of HPV from swab samples.
This type of analysis of the genetic material that is present does not rely on the individual responses of the organism, but simply detects the pathogens present. It is also important for detecting the virus in people who do not have visible warts or abnormal Pap smear results.
These analyses can also help identify the specific HPV subtype a person is infected with, which is important for assessing cancer risk because not all HPV subtypes will affect the increased risk of cancer in the same way.
There are over 100 types of HPV, and some are more likely to cause cancer than others. High-risk types of HPV, such as HPV types 16 and 18, are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer and are also associated with other types of cancer.
The clinical importance of HPV actually lies in its potential to cause cancer.
While most cases of HPV do not lead to cancer, persistent infection with high-risk types of HPV can cause abnormal cell growth that can progress over time.
This is why it is important to detect and monitor HPV infection, especially in people who have an innate tendency to develop cancer.
Since most infections come and go asymptomatically, the only sure way to know if you have come into contact with HPV is to get tested.
In the Citilab laboratory, you can find a wide range of different analyzes from the Pap test to the PCR test for as many as 21 subtypes of HPV.