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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50296. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050296. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Immunogenicity of bivalent human papillomavirus DNA vaccine using human endogenous retrovirus envelope-coated baculoviral vectors in mice and pigs.

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  • 1College of Animal Bioscience & Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea.


Human papillomavirus is known to be the major pathogen of cervical cancer. Here, we report the efficacy of a bivalent human papillomavirus type 16 and 18 DNA vaccine system following repeated dosing in mice and pigs using a recombinant baculovirus bearing human endogenous retrovirus envelope protein (AcHERV) as a vector. The intramuscular administration of AcHERV-based HPV16L1 and HPV18L1 DNA vaccines induced antigen-specific serum IgG, vaginal IgA, and neutralizing antibodies to levels comparable to those achieved using the commercially marketed vaccine Cervarix. Similar to Cervarix, AcHERV-based bivalent vaccinations completely blocked subsequent vaginal challenge with HPV type-specific pseudovirions. However, AcHERV-based bivalent vaccinations induced significantly higher cell-mediated immune responses than Cervarix, promoting 4.5- (HPV16L1) and 3.9-(HPV18L1) fold higher interferon-γ production in splenocytes upon stimulation with antigen type-specific pseudovirions. Repeated dosing did not affect the immunogenicity of AcHERV DNA vaccines. Three sequential immunizations with AcHERV-HP18L1 DNA vaccine followed by three repeated dosing with AcHERV-HP16L1 over 11 weeks induced an initial production of anti-HPV18L1 antibody followed by subsequent induction of anti-HPV16L1 antibody. Finally, AcHERV-based bivalent DNA vaccination induced antigen-specific serum IgG immune responses in pigs. These results support the further development of AcHERV as a bivalent human papillomavirus DNA vaccine system for use in preventing the viral infection as well as treating the infected women by inducing both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Moreover, the possibility of repeated dosing indicates the utility of AcHERV system for reusable vectors of other viral pathogen vaccines.

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