Medical News

Urine Test for Cervical Virus Seen as Promising

August 27, 2003

This article is part of The Body PRO's archive. Because it contains information that may no longer be accurate, this article should only be considered a historical document.

Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection with specific types of human papilloma virus. Regular Pap smear screening is the most reliable way to detect cervical cancer, but such screening is not available in all parts of the world.

Recent research has shown that testing urine can show what types of HPV are present in the cervix with a high degree of accuracy, therefore identifying which women run the risk of developing cervical cancer. Dr. Grazyna A. Stanczuk, from the University of Zimbabwe Medical School in Harare, and colleagues compared the detection of HPV in urine and in cervical specimens from 43 women with cervical cancer.

The team detected and typed HPV in 72 percent of urine samples and 98 percent of cervical swabs. The most common type of HPV, present in 59 percent of swabs, was HPV 16 followed by types 33, 18 and 31. The HPV type detected in the urine was the same as the cervical type in 22 of 28 paired samples that were available for comparison, the researchers found.

The study noted that the accuracy of the urine tests could probably be improved with repeated testing, which "should identify the high-risk group of women with prolonged HPV cervical infection."

The results raise "the real possibility that self-testing for HPV urogenital infection, using urine, will one day give low-income countries an opportunity to implement cost-effective, practical, and 'women-friendly' cervical cancer screening programs," Stanczuk's team predicted. The study, "Detection of Human Papillomavirus in Urine and Cervical Swabs from Patients with Invasive Cervical Cancer," appeared in the Journal of Medical Virology (2003;71;(1):110-114).

Back to other news for August 27, 2003

Adapted from:
Reuters Health

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.