Catching viruses associated with cervical cancer

Researchers in the UK have developed an automated bioassay that can spot the forms of the human papilloma virus (HPV) most often linked with cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women and it is almost always associated with the Human Papilloma virus (HPV), a DNA virus with more than 200 known genotypes. Almost 99% of all cervical cancers are associated with at least one genotype of HPV. Estimates suggest that more than 50% of people will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives and many will not even know it, with most genotypes not being a risk to humans.

Early stages of cervical cancer do not present clear symptoms so a simple and rapid diagnostic test capable of detecting and differentiating multiple HPV types is needed to implement appropriate and timely treatment.

Now, Ross Stevenson and co-workers at the University of Strathclyde and Renishaw Diagnostics have developed a quick and efficient bioassay that uses surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy (SERS) to differentiate between different HPV genotypes.

To read the full article, please visit Chemistry World.

Human papilloma virus genotyping by surface-enhanced Raman scattering
Sam Hibbitts, P. Lewis White, Julie Green, Graeme McNay, Duncan Graham and Ross Stevenson
Anal. Methods, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4AY00155A, Communication

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