Performance of careHPV, hybrid capture 2 and visual inspection with acetic acid for detection of high-grade cervical lesion in Tanzania: A cross-sectional study

Johnson Katanga, Susanne K. Kjaer, Rachel Manongi, Chun Sen Wu, Thomas Iftner, Marianne Waldstrom, Andrea B. Pembe, Julius Mwaiselage, Vibeke Rasch
Publication year: 


To examine the test performance of careHPV, Hybrid Capture2 (HC2) and visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) for detection of cytologically diagnosed high-grade cervical lesions or cancer (HSIL+).


Cross-sectional study.


Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC), Tanzania.


Women attending routine cervical cancer screening.


We enrolled 4080 women (25–60 years) in the study. The women were interviewed on lifestyle habits, and tested for HIV. A cervical specimen for careHPV testing (performed at ORCI and KCMC), and a liquid-based cytology sample for HPV DNA detection using HC2 (performed at Tuebingen University Hospital, Germany) and for cytology assessment (performed at Vejle Hospital, Denmark) were obtained at a gynecological examination. Subsequently, VIA was performed. With cytology as gold standard, the sensitivity and specificity of careHPV, HC2, and VIA for detection of HSIL+ were calculated.


Altogether, 23.6% had a positive careHPV test, 19.1% had positive HC2 test, and 6.3% had a positive VIA test. The sensitivity/specificity was 88.9%/78.9% for careHPV and 91.1%/83.7%, for HC2. VIA showed a low sensitivity of 31.1% but a high specificity (94.6%) for detection of HSIL+. The sensitivity of careHPV, HC2 and VIA was higher among younger women, and among HIV positive women. VIA triage of careHPV positive women improved specificity, but sensitivity dropped to 27%.


Our results confirm the low sensitivity of VIA for detection of HSIL+ and further document that careHPV test is promising as a primary screening method for cervical-cancer prevention in low-resource regions. A suitable triage test has to be identified.