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Comparison of the sensitivity and specificity of real-time PCR and in situ hybridization in HPV16 and 18 detection in archival cervical cancer specimens

Author(s): Beata Biesaga | Sława Szostek | Małgorzata Klimek | Jerzy Jakubowicz | Joanna Wysocka

Journal: Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica
ISSN 0239-8508

Volume: 50;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: HPV16 and 18 | RT-PCR | in situ hybridization

The aim of this study was to analyze the correlation between real-time PCR (RT-PCR) treated as a reference method and in situ hybridization with tyramide amplification system (ISH-TSA) in the detection of HPV16 and 18 infection and the assessment of viral genome status. The study was performed on cervical cancer biopsies fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin and embedded in paraffin obtained from 85 women. TaqMan-based 5’exonuclease RT-PCR with type-specific primers was used to assess HPV16 and 18 infections and genome status. Viral infection and genome status was also assessed by ISH-TSA. RT-PCR revealed 76 (89.4%), and ISH-TSA 81 (95.3%) cancers with HPV16 and 18 infections. The ISH-TSA sensitivity and specificity were: 96.1% and 11.1% compared to RT-PCR. The difference between these techniques in HPV detection was significant (p = 0.000). Among 76 HPV16/18 positive cancers in RT-PCR, there were 30 (39.5%) with integrated and 46 (60.5%) with mixed viral genome form. According to ISH-TSA, there were 39 (51.3%) samples with integrated and 37 with mixed form (48.7%). The sensitivity and specificity of ISH-TSA in genome status assessment were 70.0% and 60.9%, respectively. The difference between RT-PCR and ISH-TSA in genome state detection was not statistically significant (p = 0.391). These results suggest that ISH-TSA shows insufficient specificity in HPV detection for use in clinical practice. However, this assay could be applied for viral genome status assessment.

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