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Human papillomavirus infection in women with and without cervical cancer in Tbilisi, Georgia

Cancer Epidemiology
DOI: 10.1016/j.canep.2010.12.006
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Human Papillomavirus
  • Prevalence
  • Georgia
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Background: No accurate estimates of cervical cancer incidence or mortality currently exist in Georgia. Nor are there any data on the population-based prevalence of high-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which, in the absence of good-quality screening, is known to correlate with cervical cancer incidence. Methods: We obtained cervical cell specimens from 1309 women aged 18–59 years from the general population of Tbilisi, and also from 91 locally diagnosed invasive cervical cancers (ICC). DNA of 44 HPV types was tested for using a GP5+/6+-based PCR assay. Results: In the general population (of whom 2% reported a previous Pap smear) HPV prevalence was 13.5% (95% CI: 11.6–15.9), being highest in women aged 25–34 years (18.7%) and falling to between 8.6% and 9.5% for all age groups above 34 years. HR HPV prevalence was 8.6% overall, being 6.8% and 38.9% among women with normal and abnormal cytology, respectively. HPV45 (1.6%) was the most common type in women with normal cytology, whereas HPV16 predominated among women with cervical abnormalities (including 7 of 10 histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3) and among ICC (57.6%). The next most common types in ICC in Georgia were HPV45 and 18 (13.2 and 11.0%, respectively). Conclusions: We report a relatively high burden of HPV infection in Tbilisi, Georgia. Improving cervical cancer prevention, through screening and/or HPV vaccination, is an important public health issue in Georgia, where 70% of ICC are theoretically preventable by HPV16/18 vaccines.

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