Comparative HPV genotype distribution among women with normal and abnormal cervical cytology in Yaoundé, Cameroon

*1Mbimenyuy, C. M., 1Cho, J. F., 2Mugyia, A. E., 3Ikomey, G. M., 4,5Tebit, D. M., and 6Nota, D. A.

1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science, P. O. Box 63, Buea, University of Buea, South West Region, Cameroon

2Department of Virology Centre Pasteur Du Cameroun

3Centre for Studies and Control of Communicable Diseases (CSCCD), FMBS-University of Yaoundé 1, Box 8445, Yaoundé, Cameroon

4HIV/AIDS and Global Health Research Program, and Department of Microbiology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa

5Global Biomed Scientific LLC, P.O. Box 2368, Forest, VA 24551, USA

6Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bamenda, North West Region, Cameroon

*Correspondence to:



Background: The epidemiology of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the pattern of HPV genotype distribution are parameters needed to assess the risk of cervical cancer. Oncogenic HPV types are well-known pathogen for lower genital tract neoplasias, representing the primary cause of cancer death in Africa and the second in Cameroon. This study was conducted to identify the various genotypes particularly the high-risk HPV types in normal and abnormal cervical cytology from women in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Methodology: This was a hospital-based, analytical cross-sectional study carried out on 226 symptomatic women wherein cervico-vaginal samples were obtained during gynaecological examination for Pap smears, HPV-DNA and genotype detection with linear array HPV strip, conducted from November 2019 to January 2021.                 

Results: From the 226 women whose cervical samples were collected for Pap smears, 71 (31.4%) had abnormal cytology results while 155 (68.6%) had normal results. The overall HPV prevalence in the study population was 34.1% (77/226). The HPV prevalence in women with abnormal Pap smears was 100% (71/71) and are distributed in following descending order; LSIL (21.1%, 15/71), HSIL (21.1%, 15/71), ASC-US (19.7%, 14/71), ICC (19.7%, 14/71) and others (18.4%, 13/71). HPV-DNA was positive in 6 (3.9%) of the 155 women with normal cytology results, 4 (2.6%) of whom were high-risk HPV. There is statistically significant difference in the HPV prevalence between women with abnormal and normal Pap smear results (OR=3289, 95% CI=182.62-59235, p<0.0001). The frequently identified oncogenic HPV types were type 16 (31.2%, 24/77), type 45 (14.3%, 11/77) and type 18 (10.4%, 8/77).   

Conclusion: It is evident from our study that symptomatic women with normal Pap smear can have HR-HPV infection and should therefore be screened for HPV and followed up with periodic Pap smears to detect any abnormal change in cervical cytology results, to prevent cervical cancer development.  Women should be encouraged to take up cervical screening, through Pap smears, because it is a non-invasive and cost-effective method for early detection of preinvasive lesions.

Keywords: human papillomavirus, genotypes, low risk, high risk, unclassified risk, cervical cytology

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Comparative HPV genotype distribution among women with normal and abnormal cervical cytology in Yaoundé, Cameroon