Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Microbiology and Immunology


Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. There are over 150 different genotypes of HPV. Some cause benign warts, while others cause several types of cancer. Subunit vaccines comprised of the capsid protein from an increasing number of HPV genotypes have been developed; however, the vaccines are prophylactic and are documented to protect against only 9 of the HPV genotypes. Importantly, there are also significant limitations in the clinical detection of HPV. Current clinical tests can only specifically identify HPV16 and HPV18. One of the test also detects 12 of the other high-oncogenic risk genotypes, but these are simply designated as €œother€, leaving majority of the HPV genotypes undiagnosed. Thus, there is a gap in clinical diagnostic assays available and a resulting gap in knowledge about the prevalence of many of the high-oncogenic risk HPV genotypes in the population and the cancer risk associated with these undiagnosed HPV genotypes. as such, the objective of this project was to establish the RTqPCR assays necessary to enable the clinical detection of more of the known high oncogenic-risk HPV genotypes and to determine the prevalence and cancer risk associated with these genotypes. Aim 1 was to establish and validate genotype-specific TaqMan RTqPCR assays to screen clinical samples for additional HPV genotypes. Aim 2 was to utilize these HPV genotype-specific assays to assess the prevalence of the different HPV genotypes and associated pathology in high-risk patients at the Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital. Importantly, these efforts will also establish a cohort in which HPV genotype cancer-risk can be followed longitudinally with data and samples obtained approximately every 6 -12 months. the goal of these efforts is to demonstrate the value of enhanced clinical diagnosis and enable the research necessary to define the prevalence, oncogenic risk, and possibly vaccine sensitivity of other HPV genotypes of concern.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.