In our comparative study of L1 consensus primers with E6 type-specific primers for detection of human papillomavirus (HPVs) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 35 cases of cervical neoplasia, the detection rate by E6 primers (54%; 19/35) was significantly higher than that by L1 primers (25%; 9/35) (p < 0.01). And all specimens HPV-positive with L1 primers were also positive by E6 primers. HPV DNA could be amplified in 36% (9 of 25) of tissue by L1 consensus primers from which beta-globin gene was amplified as compared with 64% (16 of 25) of tissue by E6 type-specific primers. With the L1 consensus primers, 8 cases were positive for HPV-16 and 1 case was positive for HPV-33. These results show that the L1 consensus primers have inferior sensitivity to the E6 type-specific primers for the detection of HPV by PCR. But the L1 consensus primers have great value in making simultaneous detection of various HPV types in a single tube reaction, thus they permit reduction of time and the economic burden of the experiment.
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