Prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection was estimated in women from St. Petersburg, Russia. The study included 309 attendants of gynecological practice, who met the following criteria: (1) history of sexual activity; (2) reproductive age; (3) lack of evidence for a specific disease of the genital tract or a current pregnancy; and (4) no cervical abnormalities revealed by cytological examination. Papillomavirus detection was carried out by PCR using MY09/11 primers. Ninety (29%) females turned out to be HPV-positive. HPV presence did not correlate with the current age, age at the sexual debut, or time interval since the first intercourse. However, women with the history of more than two contraceptive abortions had a higher prevalence of papillomavirus infection as compared to the remaining group (30/66 (45%) vs. 56/207 (27%); P=0.005; OR=2.25 (1.27-3.97)). HPV genotyping procedure involved reverse dot-blot hybridization and restriction endonuclease analysis. High-risk, low-risk and non-identified viruses were detected in 58, 26, and 16% of the positive samples, respectively. HPV16 was the most prevalent type, being present alone in 21% of the infected women, and in combination with other HPVs in 5% of the virus-positive females. No other papillomavirus types showed exceptionally prominent prevalence. The data suggest that HPV occurrence among Russian women is within the range of world-wide variations.
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