Detection of high-risk human papillomavirus HPV by the novel AmpFire isothermal HPV assay among pregnant women in Pemba Island, Tanzania

Naomi Christine Angela Juliana, Mohamed Hamad Juma, Roel Heijmans, Sander Ouburg, Said Mohammed Ali, Aishwarya Singh Chauhan, Amanhi Biobank Pemba, Sunil Sazawal, Servaas Antonie Morre, Saikat Deb, Elena Ambrosino*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction: human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the world. Prevalence of infection differs, with highest rates reported in sub-Saharan African, including the country of Tanzania. In pregnancy, the hormonal changes and immune changes seem to facilitate HPV persistence, increasing the cancer risk and the risk of vertical transmission towards the placenta and the fetus. The burden of HPV infection is still high despite multiple screening and detection test available. The AmpFire (R) HPV assay is a novel nucleic acid isothermal amplification with real-time fluorescence detection assay that can test simultaneously 15 high-risk HPV. This nested cohort study aims to contribute evidence on the prevalence of HPV infection and persistence across two time points among pregnant women in Pemba island, Tanzania. Methods: vaginal swabs that were previously collected during pregnancy were stored in eNAT buffer (n(1)=385 and n(2)=187) and were tested with AmpFire (R) screening assay, for simultaneous detection of the HPV 16, 18 and other high-risk HPV genotypes 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68. Results: the AmpFire (R) HPV assay detected an 11% and 6% high-risk HPV prevalence at the two time points among pregnant women in Pemba island, consecutively. For the 133 women whose samples were tested at both time points, the persistence rate of high-risk HPV was 64%. Conclusion: novel isothermal HPV assay, such as the AmpFire (R), might be feasible to use in low-income regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183
Number of pages10
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2020


  • HPV infection
  • pregnancy
  • AmpFire HPV
  • isothermal
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • HPV persistence

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