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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Feb;178(2):360-4.

Serologic response to the E4, E6, and E7 proteins of human papillomavirus type 16 in pregnant women.

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  • 1Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany.



In a seroepidemiologic study the effects of pregnancy and other factors on humoral response to human papillomavirus type 16 infection were examined.


Multiple serum samples were taken at 3-month intervals for 15 months from 77 pregnant and 85 nonpregnant women. Serologic response to human papillomavirus type 16 proteins was analyzed with a peptide-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Seroreactivity was higher in nonpregnant women than in pregnant women, suggesting a reduced humoral immune response against human papillomavirus infections during pregnancy. Among the pregnant women a twofold to threefold decrease in mean reactivity in the E4 protein-based assay was detected between early gestation and delivery. The presence of human papillomavirus type 16 or 18 deoxyribonucleic acid was significantly associated with reactivity to the E6 protein (p = 0.0005) and the E4 protein (p = 0.06). Reactivity to the E4 protein also correlated with an abnormal Papanicolaou smear.


The observation of changes in humoral response to genital human papillomavirus infections during pregnancy warrants further investigation with highly seroreactive assays.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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