Laboratoire Pasteur-Cerba, 95066 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex 9
Cervical carcinoma is a slow progressing disease. Incidence and mortality rates have decreased over the last 20 years due to the cytologic screening of precancerous lesions and their treatment. Precancerous lesions are associated with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes that can be detected by PCR or molecular hybridization. So far, HPV testing has been found to be useful for the triage of patients with a diagnosis of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance but not for women with other abnormal cytologic diagnoses such as low-grade or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. The usefulness of HPV testing as a primary screening method in developed and developing countries is under evaluation.