Oncology (Cancer) Genetics

Non-invasive HPV Typing

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HPV stands for human papillomavirus which is a common sexually transmitted infection that often shows no symptoms and goes away by itself, but sometimes leads to serious illnesses. It can be called a silent killer.

In women HPV is responsible for almost all cases of genital warts and cervical cancer plus a high incidence of other cancers including cancer of the anus and vagina. Saudi Arabia has a population of 10.7 million women ages 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer.

Current estimates indicate that every year 358 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 179 die from the disease. Cervical cancer ranks as the 8th most frequent cancer among women in Saudi Arabia and the 8th most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. (2023, HPV and HPV-related cancers Fact Sheet)

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia have published a Clinical Practice Guideline on Screening and Treatment of Precancerous Lesions for Cervical Cancer Prevention. Recommendations include the use of HPV testing as the first step followed up with other recommendations in the case of positive results.

Test Sample

Cervical exfoliated cells

Precautions for Sampling

• During menstruation, sample should be taken 3 days after the end of menstruation.

• Avoid sexual intercourse for 24 hours prior to the sampling.

• Any topical medication on the private parts should be stopped 2 days before the test.

Advantages of HPV Testing at Genalive

Genalive uses a highly sensitive and specific method called quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect the presence of HPV in samples taken from the cervix.

Compared to traditional methods like Pap smears or colposcopy, qPCR offers several advantages:

Higher accuracy; qPCR can detect even low levels of HPV infection with sensitivity of about 90-97%, which other methods may not detect.

qPCR is a quick and minimally invasive procedure. The test is performed using a small sample of cells taken from the cervix during a routine pelvic exam or self-collected. The cells are analyzed in a laboratory using specialized equipment that amplifies and detects HPV DNA.

If the test comes back positive for HPV, Genalive may recommend further testing to determine if any abnormal cells are present. Early detection and treatment of abnormal cells can prevent the development of cervical cancer.

Suitable For

Recommended for women aged 25-60. Women who have had sexual intercourse.

Not Recommended For

Women in pregnancy.

Women who have undergone full hysterectomy and cervicectomy.

Women who have undergone pelvic radiotherapy.

Women in acute and subacute phase of reproductive tract infection.


Turnaround times for specific tests vary as per the table below. TATs are calculated from the time the sample is received and accepted at the laboratory.

Genalive offers:

Product Name Product Code TAT
Non-invasive HPV typing by qPCR SDX2102 5 days

Genalive Genetic Counselors are available to Healthcare providers to help navigate which test is best for their patient.

Detection Type

High-risk HPV: 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68 Low-risk HPV: 6,11