Seropositivity to Multiple Anogenital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Types Is Associated With Current Anogenital HPV Infection, Abnormal Cytology, and Seropositivity for Nongenital HPVs

J Infect Dis. 2019 Jan 9;219(3):489-496. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy523.


Background: Antibodies against human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are biomarkers for current or past infections. We assessed whether antibodies against multiple HPV types were determinants of current multiple anogenital HPV infections, abnormal cytology, and seropositivity for cutaneous HPVs.

Methods: A total of 1848 Slovenian women attended 2 rounds of cervical cancer screening 3 years apart and provided data on HPV antibodies and HPV DNA at both visits. Antibodies against 15 anogenital HPV types and 6 cutaneous HPVs were determined using pseudovirion-Luminex serology and anogenital HPV DNA using Linear Array. Antibodies to polyomaviruses were evaluated as a control. Women were grouped as either HPV seronegative or having antibodies to 1-2 HPV types or to ≥3 HPV types.

Results: Presence of antibodies to multiple anogenital HPV types at baseline was associated strongly with (i) presence of HPV DNA at the cervix (χ2 = 68.8; P < .0001), (ii) multiple types of HPV DNA at baseline (χ2 = 58.6; P < .0001), (iii) HPV DNA at follow-up (χ2 = 22.9; P < .0001), (iv) abnormal cytology (χ2 = 9.8; P = .0017), and (v) concomitant presence of antibodies to any of 6 nongenital HPV types (χ2 = 40.1; P < .0001). Presence of antibodies to ≥3 anogenital HPV types tended to persist over time.

Conclusions: Seropositivity against at least 3 anogenital HPV types is associated with current multiple anogenital HPV infections, abnormal cytology, and seropositivity to nongenital HPVs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Biomarkers
  • Cervix Uteri / virology
  • DNA, Viral
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / complications
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Biomarkers
  • DNA, Viral