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J Virol. 1999 Nov;73(11):9609-13.

Mucosal but not parenteral immunization with purified human papillomavirus type 16 virus-like particles induces neutralizing titers of antibodies throughout the estrous cycle of mice.

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Department of Gynecology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


We have recently shown that nasal immunization of anesthetized mice with human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) virus-like particles (VLPs) is highly effective at inducing both neutralizing immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgG in genital secretions, while parenteral immunization induced only neutralizing IgG. Our data also demonstrated that both isotypes are similarly neutralizing according to an in vitro pseudotyped neutralization assay. However, it is known that various amounts of IgA and IgG are produced in genital secretions along the estrous cycle. Therefore, we have investigated how this variation influences the amount of HPV16 neutralizing antibodies induced after immunization with VLPs. We have compared parenteral and nasal protocols of vaccination with daily samplings of genital secretions of mice. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analysis showed that total IgA and IgG inversely varied along the estrous cycle, with the largest amounts of IgA in proestrus-estrus and the largest amount of IgG in diestrus. This resulted in HPV16 neutralizing titers of IgG only being achieved during diestrus upon parenteral immunization. In contrast, nasal vaccination induced neutralizing titers of IgA plus IgG throughout the estrous cycle, as confirmed by in vitro pseudotyped neutralization assays. Our data suggest that mucosal immunization might be more efficient than parenteral immunization at inducing continuous protection of the female genital tract.

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