High-risk human papillomavirus detection in self-collected vaginal samples compared with healthcare worker collected cervical samples among women attending gynecology clinics at a tertiary hospital in Pretoria, South Africa

Teboho Amelia Tiiti, Tebogo Loraine Mashishi, Varsetile Varster Nkwinika, Ina Benoy, Selokela Gloria Selabe, Johannes Bogers, Ramokone Lisbeth Lebelo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In 2017, the South African National Department of Health (NDoH) Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Policy was revised. Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing on self-collected samples may offer improved screening uptake. The objectives of the study were to compare the positivity of high-risk (hr)-HPV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and hrHPV viral messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) between healthcare worker-collected cervical and self-collected vaginal samples and investigate the accuracy of the applicator-tampon-based self-collected samples in detecting hrHPV DNA and hrHPV mRNA. Methods: A total of 527 women aged 18 years and older and seeking gynecology services at a tertiary hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, were enrolled. Vaginal samples were self-collected using SelfCerv applicator tampon, followed by cervical samples collected by a healthcare worker using a Cervex Brush® Combi. Both samples were tested with the Abbott m2000 analyzer for 14-hrHPV types and 285 paired samples were tested for hrHPV E6/E7 mRNA using the Aptima HR-HPV mRNA assay. The prevalence of hrHPV DNA and hrHPV E6/E7 mRNA was estimated and the positivity between the two collection methods was compared for the total group as well as per age group. Results: HrHPV prevalence was 48.0% (95% CI 43.7–52.4) among healthcare worker collected samples and 47.6% (95% CI 43.3–52.0) among self-collected samples. There was no difference in positivity between healthcare worker collection (48.0%) and applicator-tampon-based self-collection, 47.6% (p-value = 0.90). The proportions of hrHPV were equal between the age groups as shown by the McNemar test (p = 0.9036) results for correlated proportions. The prevalence of hrHPV mRNA was 78.6% (95% CI 73.4–83.2) and 58.6% (95% CI 52.6–64.4) for healthcare worker- and self-collection, respectively. The McNemar test for correlated proportions was highly significant (p < 0.0001), indicating that the hrHPV mRNA proportions are not comparable, although this differed between age groups. Conclusions: Applicator-tampon-based self-collection has a comparable hrHPV DNA positivity rate as healthcare worker collection but different positivity rates for hrHPV mRNA. Self-sampling showed high concordance with healthcare worker-collected sampling for hrHPV DNA detection, especially regarding HPV 16/18 detection. HrHPV DNA was equally detected between the total group as well as per age group. Implementation of self-sampling using an applicator tampon as a primary screening tool may be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number192
JournalVirology Journal
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Cervical cancer
  • HPV mRNA testing
  • HPV-self-sampling
  • Human papillomavirus
  • ThinPrep PreservCyt

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