Molecular epidemiology and genotype distribution of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) among Arab women in the state of Qatar
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Background: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is the major cause of cervical cancer worldwide. With limited data available on HPV prevalence in the Arab countries, this study aimed to identify the prevalence and genotypic distribution of HPV in the State of Qatar. Methods: 3008 cervical samples, exclusively of women with Arabic origin residing in Qatar were collected from the Women’s Hospital and Primary Health Care Corporation in Doha, State of Qatar. HPV DNA detection was done using GP5+/6+ primers based real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay followed by the usage of HPV type specific primers based RT- PCR reactions and Sanger sequencing for genotype identification. Results: Similar prevalence rates of HPV infection was identified in both Qatari and non-Qatari women at 6.2% and 5.9% respectively. HPV prevalence rate of 5.8% and 18.4% was identified in women with normal cytology and in women with abnormal cytology respectively. HPV 81, 11 and 16, in decreasing order were the most commonly identified genotypes. HPV 81 was the most frequent low-risk genotype among women with both normal (74.0%) and abnormal (33.3%) cytology. HPV 16 (4.6%) was identified as the predominant high-risk HPV genotype among women with normal cytology and HPV 16, HPV 18, and HPV 56 (22.2% each) were the most common identified high-risk genotypes in women with abnormal cytology Conclusions: The overall HPV prevalence in Arab women in Qatar was identified as 6.1% with an increased HPV prevalence seen in women with abnormal cytology results and no significant trends seen with age. In contrast to Western countries, we report a varied genotypic profile of HPV with a high prevalence of low-risk HPV genotype 81 among the Arab women residing in Qatar.