Background Female sex workers (FSW) are at higher risk of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Yet, few data exist on the prevalence and the types of HPV circulating among them. Baseline data from FSW recruited in a longitudinal study were analyzed to determine the prevalence and type-specific distribution of oncogenic HPV among FSW in Cotonou.
Methods Data from 309 FSW with valid cervical specimens (out of 312 enrolled) were analyzed. Cervical specimens were processed through March 2019, using the Linear Array HPV genotyping test (LA-HPV) (Roche Molecular Systems). Where appropriate, a real-time PCR assay specific for type 52 was performed to control for cross-reactivity with HPV-33, 35 or 58. The overall and type-specific prevalence of oncogenic HPV were estimated according to the level of risk: high risk (HR-HPV) and low risk (LR-HPV).
Results The mean age of the 309 women at enrollment was 34.97 (± 10.66) and that at their first intercourse was 17.53 (± 2.66). Almost half of them (45.8%) were Beninese and 25.8% were HIV positive. Condom use at the last sex with clients and boyfriend was reported by 97.7% and 14.5% of women, respectively. At least one HR-HPV was detected in 237 women (88.3%) and the ten most frequent were HPV58 (37.5%), HPV16 (36.6%), HPV52 (28.8%), HPV35 (23.3%), HPV68 (22.0%), HPV18 (20.7%), HPV45 (15.2%), HPV33 (11.0%), HPV59 (9.1%), HPV51 (6.5%). LR-HPV were found in 186 women (60.2%): HPV81 (23.6%); HPV61 (23.0%); HPV72 (15.2%); VPH42 (12.0%); VPH70 (8.4%), VHP54 (5.8%); VPH 6/VPH11 (5.5%) and VPH40 (2.6%). HR-HPV presence was not associated with HIV status (p=0.897) while that of LR-HPV was (p=0.037).
Conclusion To our knowledge, this study is the first to provide HPV data among FSW in West Africa. The high prevalence and atypical distribution of oncogenic HPV among this high risk population might have implications for vaccine design.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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