Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and 18 infections decreased by 86 per cent in women aged 16-21 years who were eligible for HPV vaccination in England between 2010 and 2016. That is according to a new surveillance data analysis published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
The researchers analysed residual vulva-vaginal swab specimens from women aged 16-24 years attending for chlamydia screening between 2010 and 2016 and tested for HPV DNA (15,459 completed specimens). For women with known vaccination status, vaccine effectiveness was estimated.
Overall, declines were seen across five high-risk HPV types, which together cause around 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases, as well as low-risk HPV types.
Prevalence of HPV16/18 decreased between 2010/2011 and 2016 from 8.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent in 16–18 year olds, and from 14 per cent to 1.6 per cent in 19-21 year olds (compared to 17.6% and 16.9% in the prevaccination period). Declines were also seen for HPV31/33/45 (6.5% to 0.6% for 16-18 year olds and 8.6% to 2.6% for 19-21 year olds).
The results suggest that the HPV vaccination programme in England will bring about large reductions in cervical cancer in the future, the authors said.
In addition, the HPV vaccination programme led to a marked decline in genital wart diagnoses. The number of genital wart diagnoses in sexual health clinics fell in females aged 15 -17 years by 89 per cent, and in males of the same age by 70 per cent, between 2009 and 2017 as a result of herd immunity.