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Genital human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the most frequently sexually transmitted viruses. HPV can cause unregulated tumour-like growth of the host cells, which can be either benign, with warts forming at the site of infection, or malignant, as in cervical carcinoma. So far, 30 genital HPV types have been described. They are divided into two groups according to their oncogenic potential: High-risk and low-risk HPV. While high-risk HPV are involved in the development of carcinoma and can be detected in over 99 % of cervical carcinomas, low-risk HPV alone are only found in non-malignant tissue changes. For assessment of the course of HPV infection and the risks involved it is not only important to differentiate between high-risk and low-risk viruses but also to discriminate between the different viruses of the high-risk group.
Alongside cytology (Pap smear), direct detection methods for HPV play a very important role in the early diagnosis of cervical carcinoma. They are based on the detection of viral DNA, mainly using PCR, or the detection of viral RNA produced by the host cells. The disadvantage of using conserved genes for HPV detection (e.g. L1, E1, E2) is that the genes may be lost during integration of viral DNA into the host DNA. PCR systems based on these sequences can therefore lead to false negatives despite viral DNA being present.
The EUROArray HPV Test is based on the detection of the viral oncogenes E6/E7, which allows the highest possible sensitivity. Owing to the use of subtype-specific primer systems and probes, the EUROArray HPV Test enables detection and typing of all 30 genital HPV types described so far in one test: 18 “high-risk” HPV (16, 18, 26, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, 73, 82) and 12 “low risk” HPV (6, 11, 40, 42, 43, 44, 54, 61, 70, 72, 81, 89,). Therefore, the EUROArray HPV Test is especially suited for diagnostic analyses in the framework of HPV screening. The EUROArray HPV Test is extremely easy to perform in comparison to other molecular biological methods for HPV detection – no in-depth molecular biology knowledge is required.