This study aimed to determine the prevalence and ideal detection method for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes, in order to evaluate prevention strategies in cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases in Qatar.

The study compared performance of cervical cytology and HPV DNA test to detect high-risk HPV genotype (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59) infections in a sample of Qatar's female population, using High Risk Screen Real-Time PCR test.


A series of 95 women attending the Gynae-oncology clinic at Hamad Medical Corporation between August 2007 and May 2008 were enrolled in this study. Cervical smears isolated from patients were subjected to High Risk Screen Real-Time test to confirm the presence of HPV DNA. The smears were characterized as ASCUS; LGSIL and HGSIL.


The overall prevalence of high-risk HPV in our study population (n=95) was 64%, with HPV 52, 56 and 16 being the commonest types detected..Of the 95 samples in the study, 93 were tested using Pap smear and RT-PCR. 11 samples found to be HPV DNA positive by Pap smear were confirmed by RT-PCR; 34 samples were found to be negative using both tests; and 48 samples which were shown to be negative using Pap smear were found to be positive using RT-PCR. Considering RT-PCR and Pap smear as stand-alone tests, the techniques did not show similar sensitivity. The RT-PCR showed better specificity and sensitivity than Pap smear.

The prevalence of HPV in the different types of lesions was compared in 65 women who had abnormal smears among the study population. HPV DNA detection rate was 60.7%, 85.7% and 50% within ASCUS, LGSIL and HGSIL cytology, respectively.


The study also showed that molecular techniques are more sensitive than conventional methods for detection of HPV infection. The relatively high prevalence of HPV 52, 56 and 16 among the study group has important implications in vaccine prophylaxis in Qatar.


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  1. A.A. Al Thani, High-risk human papillomavirus infection among women attending women's hospital in Qatar, QFARF Proceedings, 2010, BMO2.
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