Papillomavirus or HPV is a microorganism that has dozens of subspecies. Depending on the strain of virus a person has, certain changes occur on the skin, mucous membranes and internal organs.
HPVs related to oncogenic subspecies are particularly dangerous, that is, they increase the risk of developing malignancies. An analysis for papilloma, made on time, helps to determine the strain of papillomavirus and therefore receives antiviral treatment, which is also cancer prevention.
Causes of HPV
Human papillomavirus is one of the most prevalent viruses worldwide.
It is believed that one or more strains of this microorganism can be found in almost 90% of the population. Such a widespread spread of HPV is due to the ease of transmission.
The virus is transmitted only from person to person, but in several ways. The most basic is sexual, and it can be either traditional sexual contact or oral or anal. HPV can pass from the mother during birth to the baby, and often after a while papillomas are detected in the baby's mouth and throat.
Papillomavirus is often transmitted by contact, that is, through damaged skin or by the use of certain personal items by various people. The microorganism perfectly retains its viability in a humid and warm environment, so it is easy to become its owner after visiting a bath or a pool.
Some features of sexual activity increase the risk of infection. This is its early onset, frequent changes of partners, sexually transmitted diseases, miscarriages in women. In most cases, women are sexually infected with HPV, which doctors associate with the anatomical features of the structures of their genitals.
The papillomavirus does not always appear immediately, in most cases several months and years pass before its external manifestation on the skin and mucous membranes.
Several provocative factors are to blame for the activation of the pathogen, their group includes:
- Pronounced weakening of the immune system. This is observed after severe infectious diseases, after long-term treatment with antibiotics, with frequent respiratory disorders.
- The negative effect of prolonged and frequent psycho-emotional stress.
- The presence of chronic diseases of the genital area, urinary tract, digestive tract.
- Bad habits - prolonged smoking, alcohol abuse.
Activation of the virus causes it to accumulate in large amounts in a specific area of the body or on the mucous membranes and changes the structure and function of the cells located here. The result of this process is the appearance of warts and papillomas.
Particularly dangerous are genital warts that appear on the external genitalia and in women inside the vagina. Outgrowths on the skin can be both single and multiple, often they are damaged, increasing the risk of degeneration of normal cells to atypical.
How and why is an analysis given for the human papillomavirus?
When papillomas appear on the human body, a dermatologist can safely say that a virus is present in this patient's body.
However, in order for the treatment to be as effective as possible, laboratory diagnostics are necessary to determine the type of virus and its amount in the body.
It is imperative to determine the HPV strain if papillomatous growths are detected:
- On the external genitalia, in women in the vagina and in men on the penis and urethra.
- In the throat and mouth area.
- around the anus.
Analysis in this case allows you to determine whether the virus belongs to an oncogenic or non-oncogenic group.
This allows the physician to predict the outcome of the disease and prescribe treatment that prevents the likelihood of developing a malignant lesion. An analysis for the human papillomavirus is necessary, and if precancerous conditions are detected, it is dysplasia or leukoplakia in the cervix in women.
An analysis for papillomavirus is recommended for every woman after 30 years. Ideally, it should be repeated once every three to five years. Such an attitude towards one's health will provide an opportunity to identify the development of atypical cells in the early stages of their appearance.
To diagnose HPV in the human body, various diagnostic methods have been developed. The patient takes blood for analysis, scraping and smearing in women from the cervical canal and cervix. In men, cells from the mucous layer of the urethra, the prostate secretion, are needed for analysis.
Before taking the analysis, it is recommended to adhere to several rules. Male patients should not urinate for an hour and a half. A woman under the previous evening's hygiene should not wash out and use bactericidal cleaners.
If necessary, if HPV is suspected, a biopsy is performed. That is, a small piece of tissue is taken from the area of cell transformation.
Modern medical centers have several methods for detecting HPV in the human body. The most commonly used are the following:
- PCR polymerase chain reaction. This method is based on the detection of human papillomavirus DNA, which makes it possible to find this microorganism with almost the highest probability. The examination requires biological fluids - blood, saliva, urine, amniotic fluid or scraping from the mucus layer in the cervix or urethra. DNA diagnostics also helps to determine the type of microorganism and its quantitative conditions at the time of sampling.
- The Digin test is a modern, highly sensitive assay that allows you to assign a virus to one of a hundred strains and determine its oncogenicity. To analyze for papilloma, it is necessary to scrape from the vagina or urethra. The interpretation of the results obtained is performed by a physician. The Digin test allows you to detect the concentration of the virus, indicating a high risk of degeneration of altered cells into cancer cells. Therefore, this study is necessary to prescribe the most effective preventive treatment.
In case of positive test results or in case of doubtful results another diagnosis is prescribed. It allows you to evaluate the results of the treatment and accurately determine if a person is infected with HPV.
However, even with negative results, any person should, if possible, be examined regularly as it is possible to get infected with the virus at any time.
Features of the study in women
Diagnosis of papillomavirus in women has its own characteristics. The most informative is a qualitative taken scraping from the zone of visible changes and from the cervical canal.
The material is obtained with the help of a special brush, at the same time a smear is taken for cytology. In some cases, a universal medical probe may be used for sampling. The material should not be taken during menstruation as it will show unreliable results.
Patients at a gynecologist under the age of thirty are only assigned cytology. Detection of HPV before the age of 30 is not informative - it is believed that infection in young people is secretive.
After 30 years, cytology is prescribed along with tests for papillomavirus. At this point, it is important not to miss the moment that indicates the degeneration of normal cells into cancer cells.
The role of genotyping?
Genotyping is the laboratory determination of the virus type. Such a study has several advantages, these are:
- Simultaneous detection of several virus strains.
- Determination of the degree of HPV oncogenicity. It is believed that cervical cancer occurs if a woman has HPV types 16 and 18.
- The ability to recognize reinfection from persistent (chronic) infection during repeated tests.
Identification of oncogenic strains allows the physician to choose the treatment regimen that will provide the maximum antiviral effect on the body and provide preventative prevention of the development of cancers.
Re-genotyping shows the effectiveness of therapy, as re-infection with the same strain is not possible.
Price for test
The cost of testing for the presence of human papillomavirus in the body depends on what study is planned.
Conventional PCR diagnostics in most clinics are inexpensive. The same method of determining several types of viruses and their quantitative presence in the body is already more expensive. The highest cost of the Dijin test.