Most human antibodies against HPV16 can be blocked by the monoclonal antibody H16.V5. To investigate whether H16.V5 and human sera recognize similar epitopes, hybrid capsids containing different parts of HPV16 and HPV11 were evaluated for reactivity with human sera. The antibody responses among HPV 16-/HPV11+sera to HPV11 and to hybrid capsids containing the HPV11 C-terminus were strongly correlated. The antibody responses among HPV 16+/HPV11-sera to HPV16 and to a hybrid containing the HPV16 C-terminus were correlated and there was also reactivity with a hybrid containing the H16.V5 epitope in the HPV11 backbone. Several HPV16-/11- children's sera were reactive with hybrid capsids, implying that a native capsid structure is essential for serological specificity. For both HPV16 and HPV11, the major serologic reactivity was directed toward the C-terminal part of the protein and the H16.V5 binding site appeared to be a major serologically reactive epitope of HPV16.
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