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HPV Vaccine

  1. Stephen Inglis

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0021551



How to Cite

Inglis, S. 2009. HPV Vaccine. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, South Mimms, Potters Bar, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (27 JAN 2015)


The discovery in the early 1970s that cervical cancer was caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) stimulated a highly successful vaccine development programme based on the use of recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology to produce virus proteins in a form that can stimulate powerful and long lasting antibody responses. The vaccines have been designed as combinations to target the HPV virus types that are responsible for most human disease. Clinical trials have shown that it is possible to prevent both genital warts and the early stages of cervical cancer through vaccination and this has led to licensure and use of HPV vaccines in many countries throughout the world. Progression from initial virus infection to development of invasive cancer is often very slow, however, and so it will be many years before the impact of the vaccine on the overall disease burden is fully understood.

Key Concepts

  • Vaccine development

  • Virus-like particles

  • Recombinant protein expression

  • Immunization against an epithelial infection

  • Prevention of papillomavirus-induced disease


  • HPV;
  • vaccine;
  • cervical cancer;
  • genital warts