Researchers develop automated bioassay that uses surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy to detect different genotypes of HPV.
In a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK), and Renishaw Diagnostics (Glasgow, UK) a group of scientists have developed a genotyping assay that detects the forms of HPV that are most commonly linked to cervical cancer.
Early diagnosis of cervical cancer is challenging, since there are no clear symptoms in the early stages. Nearly 99% of all cervical cancers are linked to infection with HPV, and therefore accurate detection of HPV infection could allow clinicians to initiate therapeutic intervention much earlier on.
There are 200 known genotypes of HPV, and certain forms are associated with the development of cervical cancer. It was therefore important for the assay to test for all these different genotypes. Specific probes were developed to detect various genotypes of HPV, enabled by surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy.
The researchers outline the advantages of this technique, which are an increased throughput and speed (thus allowing faster diagnosis) and the fact that the bioassay detects multiple targets from one sample.
Source: Hibbitts S, White PL, Green J, McNay G, Graham D, Stevenson R. Human papilloma virus genotyping by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Anal. Methods 6, 1288–1290 (2014).