Immunoglobulin-A and -G (IgA and IgG) responses against HPV-16-like particles (VLP) were tested by ELISA in 104 women with cervical abnormalities, 26 atypical cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and 14 cytologically normal women with HPV DNA. As controls, 130 age-matched cytologically normal women with no HPV DNA were selected from the population in which the cases were generated. The existence of HPV DNA in cervical samples was tested by a PCR-based method. The normal women positive with HPV-16 DNA were followed up at 4- to 7-month intervals for 16 to 24 months. IgA and IgG antibodies against HPV-16 VLP were frequently detected in these women repeatedly positive with HPV-16 DNA, suggesting that persistent HPV infection is crucial for effective antibody responses against the viruses. IgA response appears earlier and persists longer than IgG response. Women with HPV DNA of types 16, 31/33/35, 58 and unknown types showed significantly higher seropositivity for both IgA and IgG antibodies than the controls (p < 0.05 for both). No significant seropositivity for IgA or IgG was detected in the HPV-18/45-DNA-positive group. HPV 31/33/35, 58 appear to be types close to HPV 16, whereas HPV 18/45 appears to be distinct from HPV 16 in antigenicity. IgA and IgG responses against HPV-16 VLP were more frequently observed in women with normal cervices with HPV DNA, ASCUS, HSIL and cervical cancer than in the controls. Strong IgA and IgG responses depended on HPV-16 infection in HSIL and cervical cancer, but there was no correlation between the serological responses and the status of HPV DNA in ASCUS and LSIL. Antibody positivity reflects persistent viral infection that may increase the risk for malignant progression of the cervix. This serological assay using HPV-16 VLP may therefore be useful as a new diagnostic tool supplementing cervical cytological tests.