Updating the natural history of hpv and anogenital cancer

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From age 14 years onwards, the seroprevalence increased sharply until the early 20s, and then stabilised or declined.

The proportion seropositive varied by type, being highest for HPV 16 and lowest for HPV 11.

Epidemiological knowledge of HPV infection in the UK relies heavily on prevalence studies of HPV DNA in the cervical epithelium of women undergoing cervical sampling (Woodman et al, 2001; Kitchener et al, 2006) and usually relates to female subjects known to be sexually active.

These studies indicate the prevalence of current infection, as most HPV infections are transient and become DNA negative within 2 years (Moscicki et al, 2006).

However, the intended use of the data is to determine the prevalence of past HPV infection and not to analyse the dynamics of postinfection antibody levels quantitatively.

We report on the first population-based study of HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 seroprevalence in England, in 10- to 29-year-old female subjects – the likely target age range for vaccination, but an age range in which little is known about infection rates.

To calculate the overall seroprevalence, age-specific proportions were standardised to female population figures from the Office of National Statistics for England in 2004.

Logistic regression models were used to investigate the risk of seropositivity for each HPV type, by age, source laboratory location (North or South of England) and positivity for other HPV types.

In individuals who mount a detectable humoral immune response, HPV type-specific serum antibodies are an indicator of past exposure.

Testing of blood samples also offers the opportunity to survey different populations.

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