Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Typing

Human papilloma viruses (HPV) are clinically regarded as the most important pathogens of the human anogenital tract and the main factor in the development of cervical and anal cancer. HPVs are a diverse group of DNA viruses involved in human disease, with more than 100 different types identified. The identification and typing of HPVs (Human Papilloma Viruses) has become increasingly challenging, due to the numerous viral types that must be detected and their role in the process of cervical neoplasia. A Pap test only indicates the possibility of infection with HPV and the possibility of changes associated with cervical cancer. For a more direct diagnosis, a molecular diagnostic system for HPV typing accurately detects different HPV subtypes, some of which are particularly aggressive and directly associated with high grade dysplasia and malignancy. Precancerous changes are found in all age groups but are particularly frequent in younger women. These changes as well as cervical cancer are some of the most successfully treated cancers when detected early.

Type-specific identification of HPV DNA and the genotyping of the virus is important for disease prevention, prognosis, and treatment. Until now, an efficient method for HPV typing was not available. HPV types are categorized as “high risk” or “low risk” based on their relative risks of oncogenesis. There are over 45 different types of HPV that cause genital infections. Co-infections by multiple HPV types are likely to occur in more than 30% of HPV patients. Certain combinations of these co-infections may be more prone to cause cancer than others. Information regarding HPV co-infections can be an essential part of determining treatment options and immunotherapy. Our molecular diagnostic system identifies over 40 HPV types, especially those associated with high grade dysplasia (HSIL) and provides the necessary information for managing disease and improving patient care.

Guidelines for Women Age 30 and Older

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists most recent update for Cervical Cancer Screening released September 2013 the following management guidelines remain in place for women age 30 and older. These guidelines are based on results from a combination of cervical cytology with High-Risk HPV DNA testing. (Modified by West Coast Pathology Laboratories).

 Cytology negative and High-Risk HPV DNA negative: Take into consideration health and risk factors. Screen at routine interval.


 Cytology negative and High-Risk HPV DNA positive: Repeat both cytology and High-Risk HPV DNA test 12 months or sooner. If repeated test results are negative, rescreening at routine interval. If either repeated result is positive, a colposcopy should be performed for a more careful evaluation. If colposcopy is normal, rescreening with both tests should be performed at 12 months or sooner.

 ASC-US result and High-Risk HPV DNA negative: A cytology test should be repeated in 12 months or sooner.

 ASC-US result and High-Risk HPV DNA positive: A colposcopy should be performed for a more careful evaluation.

 Cytology results ASC-HLSIL or HSIL and High-Risk HPV DNA negative or positive: A colposcopy should be performed for more careful evaluation


The combined test results should be used in conjunction with other clinical information when making patient management decisions.