Human Papillomavirus and Its Testing Assays, Cervical Cancer Screening, and Vaccination

Yusheng Zhu, Yun Wang, Julie Hirschhorn, Kerry J. Welsh, Zhen Zhao, Michelle R. Davis, Sarah Feldman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Human papillomavirus (HPV) was found to be the causative agent for cervical cancer in the 1980s with almost 100% of cervical cancer cases testing positive for HPV. Since then, many studies have been conducted to elucidate the molecular basis of HPV, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis of the virus, and the risk factors for HPV infection. Traditionally, the Papanicolaou test was the primary screening method for cervical cancer. Because of the discovery and evolving understanding of the role of HPV in cervical dysplasia, HPV testing has been recommended as a new method for cervical cancer screening by major professional organizations including the American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. In order to detect HPV infections, many sensitive and specific HPV assays have been developed and used clinically. Different HPV assays with various principles have shown their unique advantages and limitations. In response to a clear causative relationship between high-risk HPV and cervical cancer, HPV vaccines have been developed which utilize virus-like particles to create an antibody response for the prevention of HPV infection. The vaccines have been shown in long-term follow-up studies to be effective for up to 8 years; however, how this may impact screening for vaccinated women remains uncertain. In this chapter, we will review the molecular basis of HPV, its pathogenesis, and the epidemiology of HPV infection and associated cervical cancer, discuss the methods of currently available HPV testing assays as well as recent guidelines for HPV screening, and introduce HPV vaccines as well as their impact on cervical cancer screening and treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Clinical Chemistry
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages58
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Clinical Chemistry
ISSN (Print)0065-2423

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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