A rigorous exploration of anal HPV genotypes using a next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach in HIV-infected men who have sex with men at risk for developing anal cancer

Academic Article


  • Background: There are no HPV-based measures for managing anal cancer (AC) in HIV-infected (HIV+) men who have sex with men (MSM) because of the high positivity of high-risk (HR)-HPVs. As next-generation sequencing (NGS) is able to describe the composition of HPVs as percent (%) reads rather than positive vs negative results, we used NGS approach to detect HPVs in anal samples of HIV+ MSM to test its ability to differentiate those who are diagnosed with atypical squamous cells of unknown significance or greater (ASCUS+) from those who are free of such lesions and to understand the burden of HPV infections in relation to HPV vaccines. Methods: Study included 81 HIV+ MSM characterized for demographics, patient-reported outcome measures, HIV related laboratory measures and anal cytology. We summarized NGS HPV data using % read cut points (>0%->30%) and tested the relationship between % reads of HR-HPVs and risk of ASCUS+ using logistic regression. Results: Forty-six HPVs were detected at the >0% read cut point. The prevalence of any HR-HPVs varied from 100% to 40% with >0% to >30% reads while ≥99% were infected with HR-HPVs included or not included in the 9 valent HPV vaccine at the >0% read cut point. MSM with >30% HR-HPV reads were 4.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASCUS+ compared to ≤30% reads (P =.033). Conclusion: NGS-based approach is more accurate than PCR-based HPV testing for identifying HIV+ MSM at risk for developing AC. We raise the concern regarding the efficacy of current HPV vaccines for preventing AC in this high-risk population.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Piyathilake CJ; Badiga S; Kumar R; Crowley MR; Burkholder GA; Raper JL
  • Start Page

  • 807
  • End Page

  • 815
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 2