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Virology. 2006 Sep 30;353(2):451-62. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

Cellular immune responses to HPV-18, -31, and -53 in healthy volunteers immunized with recombinant HPV-16 L1 virus-like particles.

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  • 1HPV Immunology Laboratory, SAIC-Frederick, Inc./NCI-Frederick, Frederick Building 469, Room 120, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


Human papillomavirus-like particles (HPV VLP) are candidate vaccines that have shown to be efficacious in reducing infection and inducing robust antiviral immunity. Neutralizing antibodies generated by vaccination are largely type-specific, but little is known about the type-specificity of cellular immune responses to VLP vaccination. To determine whether vaccination with HPV-16 L1VLP induces cellular immunity to heterologous HPV types (HPV-18, HPV-31, and HPV-53), we examined proliferative and cytokine responses in vaccine (n=11) and placebo (n=5) recipients. Increased proliferative and cytokine responses to heterologous types were observed postvaccination in some individuals. The proportion of women responding to heterologous types postvaccination (36%-55%) was lower than that observed in response to HPV-16 (73%). Response to HPV-16 VLP predicted response to other types. The strongest correlations in response were observed between HPV-16 and HPV-31, consistent with their phylogenetic relatedness. In summary, PBMC from HPV-16 VLP vaccine recipients can respond to L1VLP from heterologous HPV types, suggesting the presence of conserved T cell epitopes.

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