DOI: 10.3390/v15071440 ISSN: 1999-4915

Recent Developments in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccinology

Anna-Lise Williamson
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is causally associated with 5% of cancers, including cancers of the cervix, penis, vulva, vagina, anus and oropharynx. The most carcinogenic HPV is HPV-16, which dominates the types causing cancer. There is also sufficient evidence that HPV types 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58 and 59 cause cervical cancer. The L1 protein, which, when assembled into virus-like particles, induces HPV-type-specific neutralising antibodies, forms the basis of all commercial HPV vaccines. There are six licensed prophylactic HPV vaccines: three bivalent, two quadrivalent and one nonavalent vaccine. The bivalent vaccines protect from HPV types 16 and 18, which are associated with more than 70% of cervical cancers. Prophylactic vaccination targets children before sexual debut, but there are now catch-up campaigns, which have also been shown to be beneficial in reducing HPV infection and disease. HPV vaccination of adults after treatment for cervical lesions or recurrent respiratory papillomatosis has impacted recurrence. Gender-neutral vaccination will improve herd immunity and prevent infection in men and women. HPV vaccines are immunogenic in people living with HIV, but more research is needed on the long-term impact of vaccination and to determine whether further boosters are required.

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