A human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 virus-like particle-based ELISA was used to assess antivirion immune responses in 300 women participating in cervical cancer case-control studies in Colombia and Spain. Virion IgG antibodies were detected in the sera of 51% and 59% of women with HPV-16 DNA-positive invasive cervical cancer and 81% and 73% of women with HPV-16 DNA-positive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade III (CIN III) in Colombia and Spain, respectively. Capsid antibodies were detected in 22% and 3% of cancer controls (P <.001) and in 43% and 10% of CIN III controls (P =.010) from Colombia and Spain, respectively. Since Colombia has an 8-fold higher incidence of cervical cancer, these results demonstrate an association between ELISA positivity and cancer risk. Capsid antibody responses did not correlate with humoral responses of the same women to HPV-16 E6 and E7 oncoproteins.
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