OBJECTIVES--To evaluate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methodology for the detection of urethral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection by examining urinary sediment from males. SETTING--Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Leeds General Infirmary. SUBJECTS--73 male patients attending for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including 14 patients with genital warts which did not involve the urethral meatus. METHODS--Urinary sediment was tested for HPV DNA and human beta globin gene DNA by PCR methodology. A consensus primer set capable of detecting a wide range of HPV types was used. PCR product was analysed by gel electrophoresis and ethidium bromide staining. RESULTS--HPV DNA was not detected in any of the specimens. Human beta globin gene DNA was identified in 40 of the 73 specimens (55%). CONCLUSIONS--Screening urinary sediment for HPV DNA by PCR methodology with analysis of PCR product by gel electrophoresis and ethidium bromide staining is probably unhelpful for studying the prevalence of urethral HPV infection in men.
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