Cervicovaginal, oral, and serum IgG and IgA responses to human papillomavirus type 16 in women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.J Med Virol 2007; 79(9):1375-80JM
Oncogenic human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are obligate mucosal pathogens and typically cause localized infections. The mucosal surface of the genital tract also provides the first line of defense against genital HPV infection. Although local antibody production following HPV-infection has been demonstrated, their role in protection from cervical disease is unclear. This study evaluated oral and cervical HPV infection and the associated linkage between HPV-16 oral, cervical and serum antibody responses in 103 women with varying grades of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). We found that HPV-16 was the most prevalent cervical HPV infection (30/103, 29.1%) but was only detected in 1.1% (1/91) of the oral samples. Both the frequency and magnitude of HPV-16-specific cervical IgA was significantly elevated in women with CIN 2/3 compared with women with CIN 1 (P = 0.0073 frequency; P = 0.0045 magnitude). Women with cervical HPV-16 infection had significantly higher magnitude and frequency of cervical HPV-16 IgA responses than women without cervical HPV-16 DNA (P = 0.0002 frequency; P = 0.0052 magnitude). Despite our contention that mucosal HPV-16 antibody responses within distinct mucosal compartments may be linked, the concordance analysis carried out within and between mucosal compartments and serum suggests that no such linkage exists and that these compartments may be functioning independently of one another. An HPV-16 specific antibody response in one mucosal compartment in women with CIN is therefore not predictive of a response at another.