worldwide. Although the efficacy of the HPV vaccine in preventing the development of cervical pre-malignant lesions has been well demonstrated, the efficacy of the HPV vaccine in preventing HPV infection in the upper respiratory tract has been poorly studied.
Methods: In the context of the IARC cohort study of two versus three doses of HPV vaccine in India, we compared the HPV type prevalence in the oral cavity of women vaccinated with three doses, two doses, or a single dose of quadrivalent HPV vaccine with that of unvaccinated women. A total of 997 oral samples, from 818 vaccinated women and 179 unvaccinated women, were collected at three study sites. All the participants were sexually active at the time of sample collection.
Results: The age-standardized proportion (ASP) of HPV16/18 infections was 2.0 % (95 % CI, 1.0-3.0 %) in vaccinated women and 4.2 % (95 % CI, 1.2-7.2 %) in unvaccinated women. HPV16 was detected in 3.5 % of single-dose recipients, 1.2 % of two-dose recipients (days 1 and 180), and 1.5 % of three-dose recipients (days 1, 60, and 180), whereas 3.3 % of the unvaccinated women tested positive for HPV16. The same trend was observed for HPV18.
Discussion: Our findings agree with those of previous studies on the efficacy of HPV vaccination in reducing oral HPV infections and provide indications that a single vaccine dose may be less efficient than two or three doses in preventing oral HPV infection.