04 Dec 2023
30 Nov 2023
Human papillomavirus infection is associated with cervical cancer, one of the major public health problems in developing countries. In the Republic of Congo, despite the high incidence rate, estimated at 25.5% among women, molecular epidemiology data on HPV infections are still limited. We studied the prevalence of HPV in cervical smears of patients who came for screening during a cervical cancer screening campaign. Liquid-based cytology samples were collected for cytologic diagnosis and HPV detection. Nested PCR was performed using HPV consensus primers). Of the 131 women examined, 41 (31,3%) cases of normal cytology and 56 (42,7%) cases of benign cellular changes (BCM) were diagnosed, 18 (13,7%) cases of undetermined cellular atypia (ASCUS), 8 (3,8%) cases of low-grade intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), 5 (2,3%) cases of high-grade intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), and 3 (3%) cases of invasive cancers (ICC). Our results showed that 70/131 (53%) of total samples were positive for HPV DNA. In women without lesions, an age-specific prevalence of HPV was observed in all age groups. The main local risk factors for HPV infection in women with lesion-free and lesioned cytology were: age, risky sexual behavior, multiple sexual partners, age of first sexual intercourse. In conclusion, could be used as an evidence base for future epidemiological surveillance, emphasizing that in addition to Pap smears, HPV testing should be considered in cervical cancer screening and diagnosis to provide a significant opportunity for national health programs to control cervical cancer and save women's lives.