The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of antibodies to human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18, 31, 33, and 45 in woman in Cape Town with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) (n = 95), cervical cancer (n = 40), female blood donors (n = 95) and children (n = 110). The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) made use of baculovirus synthesised HPV virus like particles (VLPs) as antigen. Antibodies to at least one HPV type were detected in sera from 75% of cancer patients, 71.6% of CIN patients, 44.2% of blood donors and 27.3% of children. Sera from 95 women with CIN were compared with age-matched female blood donors. There was a significant association of seropositivity to VLP-16 (P = 0.006) and VLP-45 (P = 0.008) with CIN compared with the blood donors. There was also a significant difference in the seropositivity of women with CIN to any of the five virus-like particle (VLP) types compared to the blood donors (P = 0.0002: OR = 3.2). Thirty-nine of sixty-nine (56.5%) women with CIN were found to be HPV-16 DNA positive. The average age of women in this group that were VLP-16 seropositive was 34 years and those found to be VLP-16 seronegative was 52 years of age. Antibodies to all five VLP types were detected in these populations, thus an ideal vaccine should induce protection from infection by a wide range of HPV types.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.