Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION: (Adapted from Applicant's Abstract). This project will use
data collected from a previous study on the natural history of genital HPV
in 608 female college students. Questionnaire data, cervical-vaginal lavage
for HPV DNA, and serum were collected over a median of thirty months. At
that time, it was found that approximately 50% of the women became HPV
positive within three years. Among those who had an initial infection, 50%
were infected with another HPV type within twelve months of the initial
infection. The risk of acquiring HPV infection was related to recent
ongoing sexual exposures. Once a young woman had acquired an HPV infection,
the infection was mainly short-lived (less than twenty-four months). The
risk of having a persistent infection was not dependent on sexual exposure,
but on viral type, viral load, and other unknown factors.

The goal of this application is to obtain or produce VLP antigens from the
most common HPV types in the population. The serum samples obtained from
the women will be evaluated for serologic response (IgM and IgG) to HPV VLP
antigens in terms of the time from initial HPV infection to the development
of antibody, duration of detectable antibody titres, and change in antibody
titre over time. To identify viral risk factors related to the development
and duration of anti-VLP antibodies, including type-specific HPV infection,
viral load, infection with multiple HPV types, duration of HPV infection,
and presence of preexisting HPV anti-VLP antibodies to other HPV types, the
ability of anti-VLP antibodies to protect and/or modify subsequent HPV type
specific genital infections will also be assessed. Seronegative and
seropositive individuals will be compared with respect to the incidence of
type-specific and total infection, controlling for social and other
behavioral risk factors. The study evaluating the serologic response to HPV
would add great importance to the HPV research, since little is known at
this time.

Nine VLPs will be obtained from collaborators and eight of the VLPs will be
developed anew. The seventeen selected HPV types have a prevalence of over
5% in their infected population. The L1 coding region of the HPV type will
be cloned into Baculovirus expression vectors. Insect cells will be
infected with a very high level of production of the L1 protein and
formation of the VLPs. The VLPs will be isolated by radiant centrifugation
and characterized by transmission electron microscopy and haemagglutination
of mouse red blood cells. The haemagglutination assay will be used to
evaluate each batch of VLPs to determine the haemagglutination activity per
microgram of protein. This will standardize the confirmation epitopes per
unit protein so that equivalent amounts of functional antigens are used for
each assay. Standardization of the VLP ELISA assay will be performed using
validated serum panels.
Effective start/end date5/1/928/31/02


  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: $303,693.00
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: $312,823.00


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