Distribution of human papillomavirus antigen in cervicovaginal smears and cervical tissues

Jean W. Gupta, Prabodh K. Gupta, Keerti V. Shah, Deidra P. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An immunoperoxidase study, using the avidin-biotin complex method and a cross-reactive, antihuman papillomavirus (HPV) antiserum, was carried out on paired Papanicolaou-stained cervicovaginal smears and tissue sections from 45 cases of histologically diagnosed genital condyloma. There was a close correlation between the results of smears and cervical tissue sections. The smears were positive for intranuclear HPV antigen(s) in 67% of the cases and the tissues in 62% of the cases. Both cervical smears and tissues were positive in 53% of the cases. The combined detection rate (smears or tissues) was 76%. Only a small proportion of condylomatous cells in the smears displayed the HPV antigen. The antigen-positive cells were cytologically indistinguishable from antigen-negative cells. Antigen positivity correlated with increasing depth of condylomatous change in the tissues, with increasing numbers of condylomatous cells in the smears, and with decreasing severity of epithelial atypia. Immunologic staining of Papanicolaou-stained cervicovaginal smears for HPV provides a noninvasive technique for detection and long-term follow-up of genital papillomavirus infections without altering the biology of the lesion. This technique can be effectively utilized for both prospective and retrospective investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-170
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1983


  • Cervical smear
  • Cervical tissue
  • Immunoperoxidase
  • Papillomavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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