Baculovirus-expressed human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV-11) major capsid protein (L1) virus-like particles (VLPs) were produced in insect cells and purified on CsCl density gradients. The VLPs retained conformational neutralizing epitopes that were detected by a series of HPV-11-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. Electron microscopy determined that the HPV-11 L1 VLPs were variable in size with a surface topography similar to that of infectious HPV-11. The VLPs were very antigenic, and induced high titres of neutralizing antibodies in rabbits and mice when used as an immunogen without commercial preparations of adjuvant. These VLP reagents may be effective vaccines for protection against HPV infections.
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