HPV vaccination: Are we overlooking additional opportunities to control HPV infection and transmission?

Int J Infect Dis. 2019 Nov;88:110-112. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2019.09.006. Epub 2019 Sep 12.


Human papillomavirus virus-like particles (HPV VLPs) have distinctive immunogenic properties that generate a durable antibody response, producing high-quality neutralizing antibodies. By vaccination, i.e., intramuscular injection of these HPV VLPs, the viral survival strategy of avoiding exposure to the systemic immune system is completely overruled, and large amounts of vaccine-induced systemic antibodies are generated. These systemic circulating antibodies are easily transuded to the genital mucosa and are detectable in female genital secretions. It is well accepted that these antibodies interact with the virions presented by an infected partner and inhibit infection. However, much less attention has been paid to the role of anti-HPV vaccine-induced antibodies in an HPV-infected individual where infectious virions are encountered by neutralizing antibodies in mucosal secretions. There is a clear need to further investigate and document this role. Indeed, if HPV vaccination of HPV-infected women has an effect on HPV transmission, auto-inoculation, and relapse after treatment, this may influence how we model, assess, and implement HPV vaccination programmes.

Keywords: Additional opportunities; Control HPV infection; HPV vaccines; Transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / transmission
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / immunology
  • Vaccination


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines