Antibody-mediated neutralization in vivo of infectious papillomaviruses

N. D. Christensen, J. W. Kreider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Specific antibody-mediated neutralization of infectious human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV-11) was achieved in the athymic mouse xenograft system, in which HPV-11 induced morphological transformation of human foreskin. Virus-specific neutralization was demonstrated by the ability of an HPV-11-specific polyclonal antiserum to neutralize HPV-11 infectivity and not bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1) or cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV) infectivity. In all three virus infectivity systems, neutralization was detected by the failure of the virus suspension to induce morphological transformation of the appropriate skin xenografts placed under the renal capsule of athymic mice. Rabbit polyclonal antisera were also generated against intact virions of both BPV-1 and CRPV, and neutralizing activity was tested in the xenograft system with BPV-1 and fetal bovine skin and with CRPV and rabbit ear skin. The three polyclonal antisera contained virus-specific neutralizing antibodies, demonstrating that neutralizing epitopes existed on all three papillomaviruses and that these epitopes were antigenically non-cross-reactive. The athymic mouse xenograft system was a useful model for detecting papillomavirus-specific neutralizing antibodies and offers the only opportunity for the analysis of neutralizing antibodies to human papillomaviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3151-3156
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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