Progress and prospects for L2-based human papillomavirus vaccines. Academic Article uri icon


  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a worldwide public health problem, particularly in resource-limited countries. Fifteen high-risk genital HPV types are sexually transmitted and cause 5% of all cancers worldwide, primarily cervical, anogenital and oropharyngeal carcinomas. Skin HPV types are generally associated with benign disease, but a subset is linked to non-melanoma skin cancer. Licensed HPV vaccines based on virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from L1 major capsid antigen of key high risk HPVs are effective at preventing these infections but do not cover cutaneous types and are not therapeutic. Vaccines targeting L2 minor capsid antigen, some using capsid display, adjuvant and fusions with early HPV antigens or Toll-like receptor agonists, are in development to fill these gaps. Progress and challenges with L2-based vaccines are summarized.

publication date

  • February 2016