Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a large family of double-strand DNA viruses comprising more than 180 types. Infection with HPV is associated with benign and malignant proliferation of skin and mucosae. Low-risk HPVs produce warts, whereas high-risk viruses induce tumors. Because there are no anti-viral drugs for HPV infection, there is a lot of interest in vaccines that can prevent the infection and also in vaccines that can be used to treat established infections and HPV-related tumors. Two prophylactic vaccines have been approved for preventing HPV infection. They seem to be effective when very young people are vaccinated. Unfortunately, many older people are still at risk of infection, mainly in countries where vaccination coverage is not efficient and for those people, novel therapeutic vaccines are being developed. This chapter describes the properties of HPV vaccines used today and the current status of several therapeutic vaccines been developed to treat HPV-induced lesions.
Part of the book: Vaccines