Alternative sampling methods for cervical cancer screening: practical perspectives from the laboratory

  • Karin Louise Richter University of Pretoria and National Health Laboratory Service
Keywords: cervical cancaer screening, HPV, human papillomavirus, self-sampling


The coverage of cervical cancer screening in South Africa is inadequate, with an estimated 8.8-million unscreened women who are mainly serviced by the public health sector in lower-resourced areas. Alternative screening options need to be considered. Every step in the screening process needs to be critically evaluated to design a practical programme without a bottleneck, to deliver maximum benefit with limited available resources. Patient self-sampling has been identified as an acceptable method of specimen collection for many women. Patient self-sampling, combined with high-risk human papillomavirus-based testing, has the potential to increase cervical cancer screening coverage, especially in areas where screening is inadequate.

Author Biography

Karin Louise Richter, University of Pretoria and National Health Laboratory Service
MBChB, FC(Path) Medical Virology, MMed(Path) Virology, DipHIVMan, DipObst Consultant Pathologist and Clinical Virologist Department of Medical Virology University of Pretoria; National Health Laboratory Service
Review Articles