Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Genotyping: Automation and Application in Routine Laboratory Testing

M Torres1, L Fraile1, JM Echevarria1, B Hernandez Novoa2, M Ortiz *, 1
1 Retrovirus and Papillomavirus Unit, Department of Virology, National Center for Microbiology, Institute of Health Carlos III, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain
2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, and IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain

© Torres et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: // which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the National Center for Microbiology, Institute of Health Carlos III, Ctra. Majadahonda-Pozuelo Km 2, 28220, Majadahonda-Madrid; Tel: + 34 91 822 36 36; Fax: +34 91 509 79 59; E-mail:


A large number of assays designed for genotyping human papillomaviruses (HPV) have been developed in the last years. They perform within a wide range of analytical sensitivity and specificity values for the different viral types, and are used either for diagnosis, epidemiological studies, evaluation of vaccines and implementing and monitoring of vaccination programs. Methods for specific genotyping of HPV-16 and HPV-18 are also useful for the prevention of cervical cancer in screening programs. Some commercial tests are, in addition, fully or partially automated. Automation of HPV genotyping presents advantages such as the simplicity of the testing procedure for the operator, the ability to process a large number of samples in a short time, and the reduction of human errors from manual operations, allowing a better quality assurance and a reduction of cost. The present review collects information about the current HPV genotyping tests, with special attention to practical aspects influencing their use in clinical laboratories.

Keywords: Automation, Human Papillomavirus, genotyping..