The papillomavirus, or HPV, is a microorganism that has dozens of subspecies. Depending on the type of virus a person has, certain changes occur in the skin, mucous membranes and internal organs.
HPVs associated with oncogenic subspecies are particularly dangerous, ie they increase the risk of developing malignant diseases. A timely analysis for papillomas helps to identify the papillomavirus strain and, consequently, to receive antiviral therapy, which is also a cancer prevention.
Causes of HPV
The human papillomavirus is one of the most prevalent viruses in the world.
It is believed that one or more strains of this microorganism can be found in almost 90% of the population. The widespread distribution of HPV is due to its ease of transmission.
The virus is only transmitted from person to person, but in different ways. The most basic is sexual intercourse and can be either traditional sexual intercourse or oral or anal. HPV can be passed from mother to baby during childbirth and often after a while nipples are detected in the baby's mouth and throat.
Papillomavirus is often transmitted through contact, ie through damaged skin or when using certain personal items by different people. The microorganism maintains its viability perfectly in a humid and warm environment, so it is easy to become its owner after a visit to a bath or pool.
Certain characteristics of sexual activity increase the risk of infection. This is its early onset, frequent partner change, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions in women. In most cases, women become sexually infected with HPV, which doctors associate with the anatomical features of the structures of their genitals.
The papilloma virus does not always appear immediately, in most cases several months and years pass before its external manifestation on the skin and mucous membranes.
Several provoking factors are responsible for the activation of the pathogen, their group includes:
- Severe weakening of the immune system. This is observed after severe infectious diseases, after prolonged treatment with antibiotics, with frequent respiratory diseases.
- The negative impact of prolonged and frequent psycho-emotional stress.
- The presence of chronic diseases of the genital area, urinary tract, digestive system.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Bad habits - long-term smoking, alcohol abuse.
Activation of the virus leads to the fact that it accumulates in large quantities in a specific area of the body or in the mucous membranes and changes the structure and function of the cells located here. The result of this procedure is the appearance of warts and papillomas.
Particularly dangerous are genital warts that appear on the external genitalia, and in women inside the vagina. Skin bumps can be as simple as multiple, often injuring, increasing the risk of abnormal normal cell degeneration.
How and why is a human papillomavirus analyzed?
When papules appear on the human body, a dermatologist can definitely say that there is a virus in this patient's body.
However, in order for the treatment to be as effective as possible, a laboratory diagnosis is required to determine the type of virus and its amount in the body.
It is imperative to determine the strain of HPV if papillary growths are detected:
- In the external genitalia, in women in the vagina and in men in the penis and urethra.
- In the area of the throat and mouth.
- around the anus.
The analysis in this case allows you to determine whether the virus belongs to a oncogenic or non-oncogenic group.
This allows the doctor to predict the outcome of the disease and prescribe treatment that prevents the possibility of malignancy. Human papillomavirus analysis is necessary and if precancerous conditions are detected, in women it is dysplasia or leukoplakia of the cervix.
A papillomavirus test is recommended for every woman after 30 years. Ideally, it should be repeated once every three to five years. Such an attitude to one's health will allow one to detect the growth of atypical cells in the early stages of their appearance.
Various diagnostic methods have been developed to determine HPV in the human body. The patient receives blood for analysis, abrasion and smear in women from the cervical canal and cervix. In men, cells from the lining of the urethra, the prostate secretion, are needed for analysis.
Before taking the analysis, it is recommended that you follow a few rules. Male patients should not urinate for an hour and a half. A woman during the previous night hygiene should not bathe and use bactericidal detergents.
If necessary, if HPV is suspected, a biopsy is performed. That is, a small piece of tissue is obtained from the cell transformation site.
Modern medical centers have various 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 study requires biological fluids - blood, saliva, urine, amniotic fluid or scraping of the mucous membrane of the cervix or urethra. DNA diagnosis also helps determine the type of microorganism and its proportion at the time of sampling.
- The Digin test is a modern, highly sensitive assay that allows you to map a virus to one in a hundred strains and determine its oncogenicity. For nipple analysis, a scraping of the vagina or urethra is necessary. The interpretation of the results obtained is performed by a doctor. The Digin test allows you to detect the concentration of the virus, indicating a high risk of degeneration of the damaged cells in cancer. Therefore, this study is necessary to prescribe the most effective preventive treatment.
In case of positive test results or in case of doubtful results, a second diagnosis is prescribed. It allows you to evaluate the results of treatment and accurately determine if a person is infected with HPV.
But even with negative results, every person, if possible, should be screened periodically, as they are likely to become infected with the virus at any time.
Characteristics of research in women
The diagnosis of papillomavirus in women has its own characteristics. The most informative is a quality scraping obtained from the zone of visible changes and from the cervical canal.
The material is obtained using a special brush, at the same time a smear is obtained for cytology. In some cases, a universal medical catheter may be used for sampling. The material should not be taken during menstruation, as it will show unreliable results.
Only gynecologists are assigned to gynecological patients who have not reached the age of thirty. Detection of HPV before the age of 30 is not informative - it is believed that the infection in young people proceeds secretly.
After 30 years, cytology is prescribed along with papillomavirus tests. At this time, it is important not to miss the moment that indicates the degeneration of normal cells into cancer cells.
The role of the genotype?
Genotype is the laboratory determination of the type of virus. Such a study has many advantages, which are:
- Simultaneous detection of multiple virus strains.
- Determination of the degree of oncogenicity of HPV. Cervical cancer is thought to occur if a woman has HPV types 16 and 18.
- The ability to recognize re-infection from persistent (chronic) infection during repeated examinations.
The identification of oncogenic strains allows the doctor to choose the treatment regimen that will provide the maximum antiviral effect in the body and will provide preventive prevention of cancer development.
The redefinition of the genotype shows the effectiveness of the treatment, as it is not possible to re-infect with the same strain.
Price for tests
The cost of the test for the presence of human papillomavirus in the body depends on which test is scheduled.
Conventional PCR diagnosis in most clinics is cheap. The same method with the identification of many types of viruses and their quantitative presence in the body is already more accurate. The highest cost of the Dijin test.