IgG antibodies against human papillomavirus type 16 E7 proteins in cervicovaginal washing fluid from patients with cervical neoplasia

M. Y. Tjiong, J. Ter Schegget, S. P. Tjiong-A-Hung, T. A. Out, N. Van Der Vange, M. P.M. Burger, L. Struyk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Little information is available about the cervicovaginal mucosal antibodies against human papillomavirus (HPV) proteins. In this study specific IgG antibodies against HPV 16 E7 protein were determined in paired samples of cervicovaginal washing fluid and serum from patients with cervical cancer (n = 22), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) (n = 38), healthy individuals (n = 22), and serum from children (n = 41) by a radioactive immunoprecipitation assay (RIPA). HPV 16 E7 specific IgG antibodies were found in cervicovaginal washings (n = 8) and in sera (n = 8) of the patients with cervical cancer. About 60% of the patients with HPV 16 positive cervical cancer had HPV 16 E7 specific IgG antibodies. Titration studies showed that the IgG antibody reactivity in cervicovaginal washings was higher than in the paired serum samples of six patients with cervical cancer (P < 0.001). In the CIN group we found no IgG reactivity in the serum, but in five patients we found a low IgG reactivity in the cervicovaginal washings. No IgG reactivity was found in cervicovaginal washings and sera from healthy individuals and sera from children. HPV 16 E7 specific IgG antibodies seem to be locally produced in a number of patients with HPV 16 positive (pre)malignant cervical lesions. For more definitive evidence for the local production of these antibodies immunostaining should be performed to demonstrate the presence of specific anti-HPV 16 E7 IgG producing plasma cells in the cervical epithelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-304
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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