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SNIPER: A Novel Assay for Human Papillomavirus Testing Among Women in Guizhou, China
  1. Suzanne E. Belinson, PhD, MPH*,
  2. Na Wulan, MD,
  3. Ruizhen Li, MD,
  4. Wei Zhang, MD,
  5. Xuan Rong, MD,
  6. Yasha Zhu, MD,
  7. Ruifang Wu, MD and
  8. Jerome L. Belinson, MD*
  1. * Preventive Oncology International, Inc, Cleveland Heights, Ohio; and
  2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shenzhen Hospital of Beijing University, Shenzhen, China.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Suzanne E. Belinson, Preventive Oncology International, Inc, 2762 Fairmount Blvd, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118. E-mail: seb{at}


Objective: Clinically validate the SNIPER human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA assay for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)2 or higher and CIN2 or higher in a prospective cross-sectional screening study in Guizhou Province, China.

Methods: Between March and April, 2008, 1000 nonpregnant women aged 30 or older were recruited in Guizhou Province, China. Women positive by SNIPER or cytological examination were requested to return for follow-up. A biopsy of all colposcopically detected abnormalities was performed by quadrant. In normal quadrants, biopsies were obtained at the squamocolumnar junction (2-, 4-, 8-, and 10-o'clock positions depending on the quadrant). Samples were placed in 2 mL of saline solution and maintained between 2°C and 30°C for up to 1 week. One milliliter of this suspension was then prepared and tested. For polymerase chain reaction amplification, a pool of HPV primers was designed to amplify HPV DNA from 13 high-risk-HPV genotypes (types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, and 68). Test characteristics were calculated according to standard definitions.

Results: One thousand women were screened; 175 tested HPV positive, 36 women tested negative but had positive Papanicolaou test results. All but 21 (90%) returned for follow-up. Median age and proportions having CIN2 or higher and CIN3 or higher differed by HPV status. Twenty-five women had CIN2 or higher and 16 had CIN3 or higher. The SNIPER assay was 93.3% and 94% sensitive and 86% and 85% specific for the detection of CIN2 or higher and CIN3 or higher, respectively. The positive predictive value was 17.4 % and 9.9% for CIN2 or higher and CIN3 or higher, respectively. Negative predictive value approached 100% for CIN2 or higher and CIN3 or higher.

Conclusion: The SNIPER assay is functionally competitive and in terms of cost holds an advantage over Hybrid Capture 2 in a Chinese healthcare market, and potentially others, around the world.

  • Human papillomavirus
  • Assay
  • Cervical cancer
  • Screening

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