Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Promising HPV Test: Fast, Precise and Low-Cost

09.02.2006


Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in the group of Markus Schmitt have developed a detection method for human papillomaviruses (HPV) which allows them to identify, in a quick and highly reliable manner, high-risk viruses that cause cervical cancer.



The prime risk factor for cervical cancer is an infection with human papillomaviruses. However, not all HPV types are a health hazard. Scientists distinguish between high-risk types and more harmless family members. There are detection methods available that basically allow one to precisely identify the virus type. However, current methods are not really suitable for large-scale use. In addition, it is not possible to unambiguously detect multiple infections with several different virus types.

An approach developed by virus researchers of the German Cancer Research Center now provides a promising alternative. Markus Schmitt and his colleagues describe their test method in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology*: They first isolate the viral genetic material from a tissue sample, amplify and label it. The enriched DNA material is subsequently mixed with different probes, i.e. small DNA fragments each of which is typical for a specific virus type. If the DNA sequences of the viral DNA under study and the probe are identical, they will bind to each other. The probe thus isolates the unknown DNA from the mixture – a process called hybridization. The probes, in turn, are coupled to tiny plastic beads of different colors, with each type of probe attached to beads of the same color. A reading device measures the amount of hybridized viral DNA on the beads. By their characteristic color, the beads tell us which viral DNA was present in the sample.


Schmitt and his colleagues have developed 22 highly sensitive probes which even make it possible to distinguish HPV types whose genomes vary ever so slightly. In addition, a “universal” probe facilitates detection of yet unknown HPV types. The researchers found out that the genotyping is in no way inferior to previous, more complex investigation methods. It is even more sensitive (a minimum of six different virus types can be detected in one sample) and less error-prone (the results are reproducible at any time). These are excellent prerequisites for using the test as a high-throughput method.

The enriched DNA material from 500 tissue samples can be tested for up to 100 HPV types – all in just one day. Since the test can be performed with relatively little effort and at low costs it is suitable for use in large-scale population studies to investigate distribution, variety and infection behavior of the cancer causing viruses. Moreover, the detection method can help to better assess the effectiveness of a vaccination against the virus. Finally, virus typing would be a useful supplement in routine diagnostics. Particularly women with chronic high-risk HPV infection might benefit from a combination of the new HPV test and a Pap smear, which is part of early cancer diagnosis measures covered by the statutory health insurance.

Cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer among women worldwide. For 2002, an estimated 493,000 new cases were expected and more than 273,000 women died of cervical cancer in the same year (International Agency for Research on Cancer). The Robert Koch Institute estimated in 2000 that slightly over 6,500 women are newly diagnosed with the disease each year in Germany. The tumor usually develops slowly; precancerous changes are diagnosed in about 50% of cases. If detected early, cervical cancer can be treated and cured without difficulty.

The task of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum in Heidelberg (German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ) is to systematically investigate the mechanisms of cancer development and to identify cancer risk factors. The results of this basic research are expected to lead to new approaches in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Center is financed to 90 percent by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and to 10 percent by the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers (Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e.V., HGF).

Julia Rautenstrauch | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dkfz.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>