Prevalence of human papillomavirus in women attending cervical screening in the UK and Ireland: New data from northern Ireland and a systematic review and meta-analysis

Lesley Anderson, Michael O'Rorke*, Jackie Jamison, Robbie Wilson, Anna Gavin, the HPV Working Group members

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


There is substantial international variation in human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence; this study details the first report from Northern Ireland and additionally provides a systematic review and meta-analysis pooling the prevalence of high-risk (HR-HPV) subtypes among women with normal cytology in the UK and Ireland. Between February and December 2009, routine liquid based cytology (LBC) samples were collected for HPV detection (Roche Cobas® 4800 [PCR]) among unselected women attending for cervical cytology testing. Four electronic databases, including MEDLINE, were then searched from their inception till April 2011. A random effects meta-analysis was used to calculate a pooled HR-HPV prevalence and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI). 5,712 women, mean age 39 years (±SD 11.9 years; range 20-64 years), were included in the analysis, of which 5,068 (88.7%), 417 (7.3%) and 72 (1.3%) had normal, low, and high-grade cytological findings, respectively. Crude HR-HPV prevalence was 13.2% (95% CI, 12.7-13.7) among women with normal cytology and increased with cytological grade. In meta-analysis the pooled HR-HPV prevalence among those with normal cytology was 0.12 (95% CIs, 0.10-0.14; 21 studies) with the highest prevalence in younger women. HPV 16 and HPV 18 specific estimates were 0.03 (95% CI, 0.02-0.05) and 0.01 (95% CI, 0.01-0.02), respectively. The findings of this Northern Ireland study and meta-analysis verify the prevalent nature of HPV infection among younger women. Reporting of the type-specific prevalence of HPV infection is relevant for evaluating the impact of future HPV immunization initiatives, particularly against HR-HPV types other than HPV 16 and 18. J. Med. Virol. 85:295-308, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-308
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
Early online date14 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013



  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meta-analysis
  • Normal cytology
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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