Nyasha Chin’ombe1*, Natasha L Sebata1, Vurayai Ruhanya1 and Hilda T Matarira2
Cervical cancer is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in women in Zimbabwe. This is mainly due to the high prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes in the population. So far, few studies have been done that showed the presence of high-risk genital HPV genotypes such as 16, 18, 31, 33, 52, 58 and 70 in Zimbabwean women with cervical cancer. The prevalence of HPV DNA in women with cervical cancer has been shown to range from 63% to 98%. The high-risk HPV 16, 18, 31, 33 and 58 were the most common genotypes in all the studies. The introduction of the new HPV vaccines, HPV2 and HPV4, which protect against HPV genotypes 16 and 18 into Zimbabwe is likely to go a long way in reducing deaths due to cervical cancer. However, there are few challenges to the introduction of the vaccines. The target population for HPV vaccination is at the moment not well-defined. The other challenge is that the current HPV vaccines confer only type-specific (HPV 16 and 18) immunity leaving a small proportion of Zimbabwean women unprotected against other high-risk HPV genotypes such as 31, 33 and 58. Future HPV vaccines such as the nanovalent vaccine will be more useful to Zimbabwe as they will protect women against more genotypes.
The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.infectagentscancer.com/content/9/1/16