A study on high-risk Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) types 16 & 18 infections among the women of the Barak Valley in Northeast India

Despite India has a high incidence of cervical cancer, there aren’t enough large-scale population-based investigations on the prevalence and genotype distribution of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Out of the several high-risk types, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are primarily responsible for the bulk of cancers linked to the virus. The present study investigates the genotype distribution of HPV-16 and HPV-18 with respect to cervical cytology among the women of the Barak Valley, Assam, Northeast India. A total of 80 women were enrolled in the study. After the enrolment of the participants, cervicovaginal smears were collected and processed for (a) HPV genotyping and (b) cytological analysis. HPV DNA detection was done with consensus primers MY09/11, followed by the detection of HPV-16 and HPV-18 with type-specific primers. Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) test was performed, and cytological grading was done. Overall HPV prevalence was 17.5% (14/80) using MY09/11 HPV consensus primers. HPV-16 is found to be the most prevalent single infection (8.75%, 7/80), followed by HPV-18 (6.25%, 5/80). Where co-infection with HPV types 16+18 is found to be 2.5% (2/80). In cytological analysis, a total of 10% (8/80) show abnormal lesions in various cytological categories. The distribution of abnormal cytological lesions is CIN1 (6.25%, 5/80), CIN2 (2.5%, 2/80), and CIN3 (1.25%, 1/80). When HPV infection was checked across different cytological categories, 87.5% (6/8) of abnormal cytological lesions were HPV positive. The present study found that overall HPV infection is high among the women of the Barak Valley Northeast India. Awareness about the virus, information on available screening methods, and vaccination may play a decisive role in reducing the infection rate.