Evaluation of quadrivalent HPV 6/11/16/18 vaccine efficacy against cervical and anogenital disease in subjects with serological evidence of prior vaccine type HPV infection

Hum Vaccin. 2009 Oct;5(10):696-704. doi: 10.4161/hv.5.10.9515. Epub 2009 Oct 1.


Objective: In the quadrivalent (types 6/11/16/18) HPV vaccine (GARDASIL/SILGARD) clinical program, 73% of women aged 16-26 were naïve to all vaccine HPV types. In these women, prophylactic administration of the vaccine was highly effective in preventing HPV 6/11/16/18-related cervical disease. Of the remaining women, 15% of had evidence of past infection with one or more vaccine HPV types (seropositive and DNA negative) at the time of enrollment. Here we present an analysis in this group of women to determine the efficacy of the HPV 6/11/16/18 vaccine against new cervical and external anogenital disease related to the same vaccine HPV type which had previously been cleared. Vaccine tolerability in this previously infected population was also assessed.

Methods: 18,174 women were enrolled into 3 clinical studies. The data presented comprise a subset of these subjects (n = 2,617) who were HPV seropositive and DNA negative at enrollment (for >or=1 vaccine type). In each study, subjects were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive HPV 6/11/16/18 vaccine or placebo at day 1, month 2 and month 6 (without knowledge of baseline HPV status). Procedures performed for efficacy data evaluation included detailed genital examination, Pap testing, and collection of cervicovaginal and external genital specimens. Analyses of efficacy were carried out in a population stratified by HPV serology and HPV DNA status at enrollment.

Results: Subjects were followed for an average of 40 months. Seven subjects in the placebo group developed cervical disease, and eight subjects developed external genital disease related to a vaccine HPV type they had previously encountered. No subject receiving HPV 6/11/16/18 vaccine developed disease to a vaccine HPV type to which they were seropositive and DNA negative at enrolment.

Conclusions: These results suggest that natural HPV infection-elicited antibodies may not provide complete protection over time, however the immune response to the HPV 6/11/16/18 vaccine appears to prevent reinfection or reactivation of disease with vaccine HPV types. Vaccine-related adverse experiences were higher among subjects receiving vaccine, mostly due to increased injection site adverse experiences.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Cervix Uteri / cytology
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / virology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine Quadrivalent, Types 6, 11, 16, 18
  • Humans
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / immunology*
  • Placebos / administration & dosage
  • Vulva / pathology
  • Vulva / virology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine Quadrivalent, Types 6, 11, 16, 18
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines
  • Placebos