Are You Immune to HPV?

In recent studies, using tests specifically for research (you cannot just go to a lab and get this test) they have been studying the fact that, although HPV infections are technically only in very superficial tissue, we do form an immune reaction to exposure to the virus. This is basically the information that was used to develop the first HPV vaccines, but with those vaccines the antibody levels may be slightly different or better than antibodies we can form by being exposed. Castellasgue and researchers have been discovering that most people who get exposed to the HPV virus will form some sort of naturally acquired antibodies. They have discovered that in response to getting exposed to HPV about 50-70% of individuals can be found to even develop develop type-specific antibodies, in other words, an antibody which would even show which type of HPV you have become infected with. It is as of yet unclear whether naturally acquired antibodies provides future protection against reinfction with that type of HPV. And it would be helpful to know exactly which types you become immune to with enough antibody protection. Limited information exists about the differential role of certain HPV genotypes in theprogession to CIN or precancerous changes, For those wanting more information read about the PATRICIA HPV 16/18 trial which was done in Costa Rica HPV 16/18 vaccine trial (3000+ in each arm). Control patients had a reduce risk of infection, but not a lot, with highest titers  of natural antibodies, but they estimate that at best 50% of women with natural antibodies reduced risk of new HPVinfection. And those with natural antibodies in their system were likely to clear their infection and thus there seems to be reduced persistence of the virus in your system if you had these antibodies. Some of the research also showed that your pap test was more likely to improve on it's own if you had natural antibody protection. New ASCUS pap smears  and CIN also reduced. But the researchers had very few patients to watch in those groups and they feel their information is preliminary. But as a general rule, yes, once you become exposed to the HPV virus, those who make antibodies to the infection, will be protected from ever getting that type again.


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