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HPV – DNA test
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
Papilloma virus (PV) belongs to a large heterogeneous group of DNA viruses. Some of these viruses have the ability to infect humans and integrate themselves into the human genetic material where they will remain throughout their lives. More than 120 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) have been identified today, with new ones being identified all the time. Forty of the 120 HPV viruses are considered sexually transmitted and are mainly transmitted through body fluids during sexual intercourse.
HPVs infect the squamous epithelium of the skin and mucous membranes, including the mucous membranes of the mouth and pharynx, cervix, vagina and anus. They increase its mitotic activity and cause the appearance of various changes, the nature of which depends on the region of the body and the type of virus.
THE HPV contamination
Epithelial infection by HPV can either remain latent or progress to infection with clinical or subclinical disease. It is possible that, at some point, the infection will develop into subclinical inflammation, which can be suppressed and go into a latent state again. In teenagers and young adults, this process is common and the HPV infection is transient. However, today we know that people who carry atypical forms of HPV transmit the virus to sexual partners normally. Often, in people infected with the virus, neither macroscopic nor microscopic lesion is visible. The incubation period of HPV infection usually ranges from 3 weeks to 8 months. Many times, however, the time interval between exposure to the virus and the clinical manifestation of the disease can even reach 10 years. Epidemiological studies have shown that in the majority of cases a random cellular infection does not necessarily develop into inflammation and remains latent for long periods of time.
THE HPV inflammation
HPV inflammation is divided into non-productive and productive. In the stage of non-productive inflammation the viral genome is randomly integrated into the host's chromosomes. In contrast, in the productive inflammation stage the viral genome replicates as a plasmid (episome) separate from the host's genetic material. At first glance, the non-productive phase may seem less harmful, however, the integration of HPV into the human genome can modify the expression of viral proteins and lead to carcinogenesis. A common target of the virus is the basal layer of the epithelium, where cell divisions take place. The access of the viruses to this layer is ensured through micro-injuries of the skin, which is why sexual contact (vaginal, oral and/or anal) is the main way of transmission of the virus because, due to friction, it is very easy to create epithelial cracks. An important role is played by the number of sexual partners, while the majority of sexually active women and men are considered to be infected once in their life by some subtype of HPV. Direct skin contact with the HPV affected area is a secondary but not uncommon route of infection. The virus can penetrate the epithelial cells of a healthy organism both through injuries and through small abrasions of the skin or mucous membrane, after skin contact with an infected person.
Depending on the type of HPV and the damage it causes the viruses are classified as high risk, low risk and moderate risk. Analysis of the DNA sequence of HPVs helps to identify and categorize them and ultimately to a prediction of the possible lesions expected to appear in humans after infection with one of these types. Genital papillomas need to be differentially diagnosed by identifying the type of HPV. Some people seem to be more susceptible to getting infected with HPV than others.
Prevention and early diagnosis
The already existing methods for the detection of HPV are usually based on the detection of morphological changes that the virus has already caused in the epithelial cells. These methods include the cytological examination (PAP TEST), the most advanced method of liquid phase cytology (which also raises the suspicion of subclinical disease) and colposcopy during which the existing lesions are revealed.
With these "classic" methods, the diagnosis of HPV is made after the damage has occurred, while there is no possibility of detecting the virus in a latent state, nor the detection of precancerous conditions. The PAP TEST does not allow obtaining material for analysis from areas other than the genital area and also presents disadvantages both in the collection of the material and in the processing, with the result that either false positive or false negative results often appear.
Prevention and early diagnosis is possible by carrying out specific analyzes to detect the virus at the DNA level. The only methods that detect and type HPVs before the stage of productive inflammation are HPV DNA sequence analysis. Their identification and categorization can help to predict possible lesions expected to appear in humans.
The innovative method of the HPV-DNA-Test enables the collection of a sample from various areas of the body, thus locating the virus in epithelial tissues. The HPV-DNA TEST method is able to detect HPV early and with great sensitivity, determining the type of virus before morphological changes are caused. The diagnosis is immediate and the attending physician can promptly proceed with its treatment.
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