Longitudinal study of seroprevalence and serostability of 34 human papillomavirus types in European organ transplant recipients

Virology. 2013 Feb 5;436(1):91-9. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.10.037. Epub 2012 Nov 20.


Organ transplant recipients (OTR) are at increased risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, which may be related to reactivation of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Measurement of change in HPV antibodies after transplantation would help to explore this hypothesis. We measured antibodies to 34 HPV types on up to six occasions over 18 months in 441 OTRs from five European countries. At baseline (mean 24 days after transplantation), 80% of all OTRs were seropositive to at least one HPV type. The beta HPV genus had the highest seroprevalence (45%). For most HPV genera baseline seroprevalence peaked between 40 and 59 years old. Most OTRs retained their serostatus over time and antibody levels were stable. Seroprevalence in immunosuppressed OTRs is stable in the 18 months immediately after transplantation. Thus there is no short-term evidence that immunosuppression leads to new or reactivated skin infection with HPV sufficient to induce antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms / virology
  • Transplants / adverse effects
  • Transplants / virology*


  • Antibodies, Viral