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Age-Specific Seroprevalence of Human Papillomavirus 16, 18, 31, and 58 in Women of a Rural Town of Colombia
  1. Astrid M. Bedoya, MSc*,,
  2. Angela M. Gaviria, MSc*,,
  3. Armando Baena, MSc*,,
  4. Mauricio Borrero, MD*,§,
  5. Diego F. Duarte, MSc,
  6. Alba L. Combita, PhD,
  7. Jorge Castaño, MD,
  8. Hugo Grisales, DrSc# and
  9. Gloria I. Sánchez, MSc, PhD*
  1. *Infection and Cancer Group, School of Medicine, and
  2. School of Microbiology, University of Antioquia;
  3. School of Bacteriology, Colegio Mayor de Antioquia;
  4. §Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, School of Medicine, University of Antioquia, Medellin;
  5. Group of Biology of Cancer, Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia de Colombia, Bogota; and
  6. Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, and
  7. #Group of Demography, National School of Public Health, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Gloria I. Sánchez, MSc, PhD, Infection and Cancer Group, Cra 51D No. 62-29, Lab 283, School of Medicine, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia. E-mail:


Objective The study’s objective was to estimate human papillomavirus (HPV) genotype–specific seroprevalence to determine population HPV exposure and inform vaccine policy.

Methods This study is a cross-sectional prevalence survey of 878 women of Pueblorrico, a rural town of Colombia. A standardized questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographic characteristics, sexual and reproductive history, and smoking habits. Seropositivity to HPV-16, -18, -31, and -58 was determined by virus-like particles in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results Overall seropositivity to any HPV genotype was 27.9%. The combined seroprevalence of women 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 years old was 35.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 25.9–46.2) and 36.0% (95% CI, 27.7–45.3), respectively. Seroprevalence for HPV-16 was 17% (95% CI, 14.6–19.6); for HPV-18, 9.8% (95% CI, 8.0–11.9); for HPV-31, 11.4% (95% CI, 9.5–13.7); and for HPV 58, 12.5% (95% CI, 10.5–14.9). Higher HPV seropositivity was associated with the lifetime number of occasional sexual partners (odds ratio, 3.05; 95% CI, 1.26–7.37) and having more than 2 regular sexual partners (odds ratio, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.21–7.45) in women younger than 44 and older than 45 years old, respectively. Use of oral contraceptives and tobacco/cigarettes was significantly associated with reduced HPV seropositivity in women older than 45 but not in women younger than 44 years old.

Conclusions Human papillomavirus seropositivity is associated with measures of sexual behavior, particularly a greater lifetime number of sexual partners. Hormonal and tobacco/cigarette use may be factors influencing the HPV seropositivity in women older than 45 years old.

  • Human papillomavirus antibodies
  • Human papillomavirus vaccine
  • Colombia
  • Cervical cancer
  • Women’s health

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  • This project was funded by contract No. 11150417028 from Colciencias.

  • None of the authors have any potential conflicts of interest to declare.

  • Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (