An association between human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the development of cervical cancer was initially suggested over 30 years ago, and today there is clear evidence that certain subtypes of HPV are the causative agents of such malignancies. Papillomaviruses make up a vast family that comprises hundreds of different viruses. These viruses infect epithelia in humans and animals and cause benign hyperproliferative lesions, commonly called warts or papillomas, which can occasionally progress to squamous cell cancer. HPV infections are considered the most common among sexually transmitted diseases. One of the most prevalent cancer types induced by HPV (mostly types 16 and 18) is cervical cancer. Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing this infectious disease. These prophylactic vaccines, based on virus-like particles (VLPs), are extremely effective in providing protection from infection in almost 100 % of cases. VLP vaccines of HPV are subunit vaccines consisting only of the major viral capsid protein of HPV. There are two types of vaccine available: bivalent vaccine (against HPV-16/18) and quadrivalent vaccine (against HPV-6/11/16/18). Second-generation prophylactic HPV vaccines, currently in clinical trials, may hold several merits over the current bivalent and quadrivalent vaccines, such as protection against additional oncogenic HPV types, less dependence on cold-chain storage and distribution, and non-invasive methods of delivery.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2014
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