Introduction. Since human papillomavirus (HPV) is the central casual factor in cervical cancer, understanding the epidemiology and geographical area distribution of the most prevalent HPV genotypes constitutes an important step towards development of strate-gies of prevention.
Aim. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of HPV infection and to determine HPV types distribution among 822 HPV positive women and some sexual male partners in Apulia (Italy).
Methods. HPV DNA detection and genotyping was performed by nested-PCR for the L1 region and reverse line blot hybridization allowing the specific detection of 24 HPV genotyping both high risk (HR) and low risk (LR).
Results. The most prevalent HPV genotypes were HPV 16 (35%), HPV 31 (16%) HPV 6 (9%), HPV 58 and 66 (7%), followed by HPV 33 (6%), HPV 18 and 56 (4%), HPV 70 and 45 (3%), HPV 53 and 11 (2%). Currently 1.5% of tested specimens remained unclassified. Multiple infections with at last two different high- risk HPV genotypes were observed in 10% of specimens.
Conclusions. This finding adds knowledge to HPV epidemiological investigation, and addresses further studies aimed to consider public health for identifying groups at risk for cervical cancer.