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Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes cervical cancer and premalignant dysplasia. Type-specific HPV prevalence data provide a basis for assessing the impact of HPV vaccination programmes on cervical cytology. We report high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) type-specific prevalence data in relation to cervical cytology for 24,510 women (age range: 20-64; mean age 40.2 years) recruited into the ARTISTIC trial, which is being conducted within the routine NHS Cervical Screening Programme in Greater Manchester. The most common HR-HPV types were HPV16, 18, 31, 51 and 52, which accounted for 60% of all HR-HPV types detected. There was a marked decline in the prevalence of HR-HPV infection with age, but the proportion due to each HPV type did not vary greatly with age. Multiple infections were common below the age of 30 years but less so between age 30 and 64 years. Catch-up vaccination of this sexually active cohort would be expected to reduce the number of women with moderate or worse cytology by 45%, but the number with borderline or mild cytology would fall by only 7%, giving an overall reduction of 12% in the number of women with abnormal cytology and 27% in the number with any HR-HPV infection. In the absence of broader cross-protection, the large majority of low-grade and many high-grade abnormalities may still occur in sexually active vaccinated women.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1704 - 1709


Adult, Age Factors, Alphapapillomavirus, Cervix Uteri, England, Female, Humans, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Papillomavirus Infections, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Prevalence, Tumor Virus Infections, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms, Vaginal Smears