Agreement between self- and clinician-collected specimen results for detection and typing of high-risk human papillomavirus in specimens from women in Gugulethu, South Africa

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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We assessed the agreement in detection of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), as well as specific HPV types, between self- and clinician-obtained specimens for 450 women over 18 years of age attending a community health center in Gugulethu, South Africa. Both self-collected swabs and tampons had high agreement with clinician-obtained brushes when the Roche Reverse Line Blot Assay (RLBA) was used (for swabs, 86% concordance, with a kappa statistic [κ] of 0.71; for tampons, 89% concordance, with K of 0.75). Agreement was lower, although still fair, with the Digene Hybrid Capture 2 test (HC2), with K higher for swabs than for tampons (for swabs, 81% concordance, with K of 0.61; for tampons, 82% concordance, with κ of 0.55). Low-risk HPV types were nearly two times more common in self-collected specimens than in clinician-collected specimens tested by RLBA. All 15 women diagnosed with high-grade lesions by cytology tested positive for high-risk HPV with clinician-collected specimens tested by RLBA and HC2, while 11 out of 15 tested positive with self-collected specimens by HC2 and 5 out of 6 tested positive by RLBA. Self-collected specimens can provide valid specimens for HPV testing using nucleic acid amplification tests, although a few cytological abnormalities may be missed.