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Clinical Trial
. 2018 Aug 6;36(32 Pt A):4783-4791.
doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.02.087. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Can a Single Dose of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Prevent Cervical Cancer? Early Findings From an Indian Study

Clinical Trial

Can a Single Dose of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Prevent Cervical Cancer? Early Findings From an Indian Study

Rengaswamy Sankaranarayanan et al. Vaccine. .


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is a major strategy for preventing cervical and other ano-genital cancers. Worldwide HPV vaccination introduction and coverage will be facilitated if a single dose of vaccine is as effective as two or three doses or demonstrates significant protective effect compared to 'no vaccination'.

Methods: In a multi-centre cluster randomized trial of two vs three doses of quadrivalent HPV vaccination (Gardasil™) in India, suspension of the vaccination due to events unrelated to the study led to per protocol and partial vaccination of unmarried 10-18 year old girls leading to four study groups, two by design and two by default. They were followed up for the primary outcomes of immunogenicity in terms of L1 genotype-specific binding antibody titres, neutralising antibody titres, and antibody avidity for the vaccine-targeted HPV types and HPV infections. Analysis was per actual number of vaccine doses received. This study is registered with ISRCTN, number ISRCTN98283094; and with, number NCT00923702.

Findings: Of the 17,729 vaccinated girls, 4348 (25%) received three doses on days 1, 60, 180 or later, 4979 (28%) received two doses on days 1 and 180 or later, 3452 (19%) received two doses on days 1 and 60, and 4950 (28%) received one dose. One dose recipients demonstrated a robust and sustained immune response against HPV 16 and 18, albeit inferior to that of 3- or 2-doses and the antibody levels were stable over a 4 year period. The frequencies of cumulative incident and persistent HPV 16 and 18 infections up to 7 years of follow-up were similar and uniformly low in all the vaccinated study groups; the frequency of HPV 16 and 18 infections were significantly higher in unvaccinated age-matched control women than among vaccine recipients. The frequency of vaccine non-targeted HPV types was similar in the vaccinated groups but higher in the unvaccinated control women.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that a single dose of quadrivalent HPV vaccine is immunogenic and provides lasting protection against HPV 16 and 18 infections similar to the three- and two-dose vaccine schedules, although the study suffer from some limitations. Data on long term protection beyond 7 years against HPV infection and cervical precancerous lesions are needed before policy guidelines regarding a single dose can be formulated and implemented. Significant and long-lasting protective effect of a single dose can be a strong argument to introduce one dose of the HPV vaccine in many low income countries where the current standard of care for cervical cancer prevention is 'no intervention'.

Keywords: Cervix cancer prevention; HPV infection; HPV vaccination; Immunogenicity; Prevention; Single dose; Three dose; Two dose.

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