Vaccination with papillomavirus L2 has been shown to induce neutralizing antibodies that protect against homologous type infection and cross-neutralize a limited number of genital HPVs. Surprisingly, we found that antibodies to bovine papillomavirus (BPV1) L2 amino acids 1-88 induced similar titers of neutralizing antibodies against Human papillomavirus (HPV)16 and 18 and BPV1 pseudoviruses and also neutralized HPV11 native virions. These antibodies also neutralized each of the other pseudovirus types tested, HPV31, HPV6 and Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV) pseudoviruses, albeit with lower titers. HPV16, HPV18, HPV31, HPV6 and CRPV L2 anti-sera also displayed some cross-neutralization, but the titers were lower and did not encompass all pseudoviruses tested. This study demonstrates the presence of broadly cross-neutralizing epitopes at the N-terminus of L2 that are shared by cutaneous and mucosal types and by types that infect divergent species. BPV1 L2 was exceptionally effective at inducing cross-neutralizing antibodies to these shared epitopes.
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