Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – Genotyping

Consistent with O. Reg. 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, laboratory testing information on this page is only available in English because it is scientific or technical in nature and is for use only by qualified health care providers and not by members of the public.

This page provides genotyping testing information for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Public Health Ontario (PHO) does not perform tests for HPV. Specimens are referred to the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg for reference and confirmation only when HPV genotyping is required. Routine screening for HPV detection will be rejected as per NML acceptance and rejection criteria.

Testing Indications

The preferred methods for routine HPV diagnosis include molecular testing and immunohistochemistry. If molecular testing for routine cervical cancer screening or atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) triage is required, contact your local private community laboratory for submission and testing information.

NML offers HPV testing for reference and confirmation only when HPV genotyping is required to confirm a diagnosis of cancer or oropharyngeal lesions. If your request meets the NML patient criteria follow the specimen collection and handling instructions below.

Acceptance/Rejection Criteria

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Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Biopsies or swabs in UTM

2ml for swabs in UTM

Sterile container for biopsies.

Swabs: Virus Culture Kit Order # 390081

Submission and Collection Notes


Complete all fields of the requisition form, including:

  • Test(s) requests and indications for testing
  • Patient setting/population/source

Label the specimen container(s) with the patient’s first and last name, date of collection, and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or health card number. For additional information see: Criteria for Acceptance of Patient Specimens. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.


NML offers HPV testing for reference and confirmation only. Samples for routine cervical cancer screening or ASCUS triage are not accepted unless part of pre-arranged collaborative study.

Storage and Transport

Specimens collected by swab may be stored and shipped refrigerated to NML within 48h of specimen collection or must be stored and shipped frozen. Fresh biopsies must be always stored frozen and shipped on dry ice.

All clinical specimens must be shipped in accordance to the Transportation of Dangerous Good Act.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

HPV is a referred out test and is performed at the National Microbiology (NML) in Winnipeg.

Turnaround time is up to 28 business days from receipt at PHO.

Test Methods

HPV is detected using nested PCR followed by genotyping using Luminex technology at NML.

Refer to for more information on the assay, limitations, and genotypes detected.


Results are reported to the physician, authorized health care provider (General O. Reg 45/22, s.18) or submitter as indicated on the requisition.

Updated 28 Aug 2023