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Investigating a cluster of vulvar cancer in young women: a cross-sectional study of genital human papillomavirus prevalence

Citation

Rumbold, AR and Tan, SE and Condon, JR and Taylor-Thomson, D and Nickels, M and Tabrizi, SN and Davy, MLJ and O'Brien, MM and Connors, CM and Zardawi, I and Stankovich, J and Garland, SM, Investigating a cluster of vulvar cancer in young women: a cross-sectional study of genital human papillomavirus prevalence, BMC Infectious Diseases, 12 Article 243. ISSN 1471-2334 (2012) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

DOI: doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-243

Abstract

Background: Vulvar cancer is a relatively rare malignancy, which occurs most often in postmenopausal women. We have previously identified a geographic cluster of vulvar cancer in young Indigenous women living in remote communities in the Arnhem Land region of Australia. In this population, we investigated the prevalence of oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in anogenital samples (vulvar/vaginal/perianal area and cervix) and compared the overall, type-specific and multiple infection prevalence between sites.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 551 Indigenous women aged 18-60 years was undertaken in 9 Arnhem Land communities. Women were consented for HPV detection and genotyping collected by a combined vulvar/vaginal/perianal (VVP) sweep swab and a separate PreservCyt endocervical sample collected during Pap cytology screening. HPV DNA testing was undertaken using PCR with broad spectrum L1 consensus PGMY09/11 primers with genotyping of positive samples by Roche Linear Array. The primary outcomes were the prevalence of cervical and VVP high-risk (HR) HPV.

Results: The prevalence of VVP HR-HPV was 39%, which was significantly higher than the cervical HR-HPV prevalence (26%, p < 0.0001). HPV-16 was the most common genotype detected in both sites (VVP 11%, cervical 6%). HPV-16 infection peaked in women aged < 20 years; however, there was a marked decline in cervical HPV-16 prevalence with age (p = 0.007), whereas following an initial decline, the prevalence of VVP HPV-16 remained constant in subsequent age-groups (p = 0.835).

Conclusions: In this population experiencing a cluster of vulvar cancer, the prevalence of cervical oncogenic HPV infection was similar to that reported by studies of other Australian women; however there was a significantly higher prevalence of vulvar/vaginal/perianal infection to cervical. The large discrepancy in HPV prevalence between anogenital sites in this population may represent more persistent infection at the vulva. This needs further investigation, including the presence of possible environmental and/or genetic factors that may impair host immunity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:human papillomavirus, population prevalence, vulvar neoplasms, young women, indigenous women
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Genomics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Indigenous Health
Objective Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes
Author:Stankovich, J (Dr Jim Stankovich)
ID Code:82204
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-01-21
Last Modified:2017-11-02
Downloads:222 View Download Statistics

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