Seroprevalence of seven high-risk HPV types in The Netherlands

Vaccine. 2012 Oct 19;30(47):6686-93. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.08.068. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


Background: To obtain insight into the age-specific seroprevalence for seven high-risk human papillomavirus (hr-HPV) serotypes (HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) among the general population in the pre-vaccination era in The Netherlands.

Methods: From a cross-sectional population-based study (ISRCTN 20164309) performed in 2006/2007 6384 sera of men, women and children were tested for seven hr-HPV specific antibodies using a fluorescent bead-based multiplex immunoassay with virus-like particles of the seven HPV serotypes.

Results: An increase in seroprevalence was observed in adolescents, especially for the most prevalent HPV type 16 (up to 11.3%). The increase was most pronounced in women, but was less clear for the other six HPV serotypes. Relatively stable seroprevalences were found in the middle aged cohorts and a slight decrease in the elderly. For the age cohorts >14 years, the seroprevalence among women (25.2%) was higher compared with men (20.3%) (p=0.0002). We found that 10.1% of the population was seropositive for multiple HPV serotypes.

Conclusions: The HPV vaccination program is targeted at preadolescents as is justified by the results in this study in which a step-up in HPV seroprevalence is observed at ages of sexual debut. Although direct interpretation of seroprevalence data are hampered by cross-reactivity and seroconversion rate, these data are useful as baseline to evaluate long-term population effects of the HPV16/18 vaccination program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Papillomaviridae / classification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Serotyping
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines