The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of high-risk human papillomavirus genotypes (HR-HPV) in women from the general population of five West African countries. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study, involving 2133 women from nine cities of five West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger and Togo. Women were screened for precancerous cervical lesions and HR-HPV infection. The detection of HR-HPV was done by a multiplex real-time PCR on extracted viral DNA. The average age of the women in this study was 35.06 ± 10.00 years with a range of 15 to 65 years. The overall prevalence of high-risk HPV infection among general population sample of women in five West African countries was 33.61% (717/2133). The prevalence of dysplasia was 8.81%. In decreasing order of frequency, the genotypes found were: HPV 52 followed by HPV 31, 59, 51, 66, 45, 68, 56, 56, 58, 35, 39, 18, 33 and 16. The prevalence of HPV16/18 (bivalent vaccine types) was 7.02%. This study reveals a high prevalence of HPV 52 in West Africa. The extent and diversity of HR-HPV genotypes in these West African countries deserve special attention for prevention.
Key words: High-risk HPV, real time PCR, genotypes, women, epidemiology, West Africa.
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