Human papillomavirus (HPV)-specific antibodies are proposed to be the correlate of protection afforded by HPV L1 virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines. Previous studies have characterized the systemic antibody response to immunization in terms of both the quantity and the ability to neutralize HPV. Here, we have adapted a generalized memory B cell ELISPOT to the HPV16 system and expanded the analysis of the systemic antibody response to include an avidity measurement of HPV L1 VLP-specific antibodies. We show the results of the memory B cell ELISPOT significantly correlated with IgG and neutralizing antibody titers, but not with the avidity measurement. This is the first comprehensive study to correlate a variety of humoral aspects potentially associated with protective immunity following vaccination with a HPV16 L1 VLP vaccine.
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