HPV-vaccinated women protect men from infection

August 4, 2016, Fresh Science
Credit: Fresh Science

A Melbourne study has found the first evidence of 'herd protection' from vaccinations against the cervical cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV).

Eric Chow from Alfred Health has found that women who vaccinate against HPV not only protect themselves, they also protect their from the virus.

There are over 100 different types of HPV, some of which are known to cause cancer. The disease is well known for its impact on women, but it can also cause , penile and in men.

In an 11-year study (2004 to 2015), Eric found a dramatic decline in the prevalence of vaccine-targeted types of HPV in young Australian men—from a 20 per cent prevalence in 2004, down to just three per cent in 2015.

These males were unvaccinated, suggesting that their vaccinated female partners were protecting them from the virus. This herd protection hasn't been seen in HPV before.

While the vaccination program for girls was brought into schools in 2007, the program wasn't introduced for boys until 2013.

The current vaccine available in Australia is effective against four types of HPV. But a new vaccine is on the way that will protect against another five types.

This is the first study in the world to assess the annual trends in vaccine-targeted HPV genotypes in men before and after the introduction of the female HPV vaccination programme. The research was published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases in June.

Explore further: Expand HPV vaccination programs in Canada to include males

More information: Mark Schiffman et al. Control of HPV-associated cancers with HPV vaccination, The Lancet Infectious Diseases (2016). DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30146-3

Related Stories

Expand HPV vaccination programs in Canada to include males

April 25, 2016
Expanding human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs to include males in Canada will help protect them against HPV-related cancers, according to an analysis published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Increased prevalence of HPV for men with phimosis

June 16, 2016
(HealthDay)—Men with phimosis have increased prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) and high-risk HPV genotypes compared with asymptomatic men, according to a study published in the June issue of The Journal of Urology.

HPV vaccine reduced cervical abnormalities in young women

July 4, 2016
Young women who received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine through a school-based program had fewer cervical cell anomalies when screened for cervical cancer, found a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

HPV vaccine reduces prevalence of targeted and non-targeted HPV types

September 16, 2014
A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine used in Australia has reduced the prevalence of vaccine-targeted and non-targeted HPV types, researchers have found.

HPV-cancers on rise in United States

July 7, 2016
The number of cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) is on the rise in the United States, reaching nearly 39,000 each year, a US government report said Thursday.

American Cancer Society endorses HPV vaccine recommendations from CDC

July 19, 2016
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has endorsed HPV vaccination recommendations from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the principal source of guidance on U.S. immunization policy. The ACS's updated ...

Recommended for you

Drugs that stop mosquitoes catching malaria could help eradicate the disease

September 18, 2018
Researchers have identified compounds that could prevent malaria parasites from being able to infect mosquitoes, halting the spread of disease.

Vaccine opt-outs dropped slightly when California added more hurdles

September 18, 2018
In response to spiking rates of parents opting their children out of vaccinations that are required to enroll in school—and just before a huge outbreak of measles at Disneyland in 2014—California passed AB-2109. The law ...

New evidence of a preventative therapy for gout

September 17, 2018
Among patients with cardiovascular disease, it's a common complaint: a sudden, piercing pain, stiffness or tenderness in a joint that lasts for days at a time with all signs pointing to a gout attack. Gout and cardiovascular ...

"Atypical" virus discovered to be driver of certain kidney diseases

September 14, 2018
An international research team led by Wolfgang Weninger has discovered a previously unknown virus that acts as a "driver" for certain kidney diseases (interstitial nephropathy). This "atypical" virus, which the scientists ...

Flu shot rates in clinics drop as day progresses, but nudges help give them a boost

September 14, 2018
Primary care clinics experienced a significant decline in influenza vaccinations as the day progressed, researchers from Penn Medicine report in a new study published in JAMA Open Network. However, "nudging" clinical staff ...

Cancer drug and antidepressants provide clues for treating brain-eating amoeba infections

September 13, 2018
The amoeba Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm swimming pools, lakes and rivers. On rare occasions, the amoeba can infect a healthy person and cause severe primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a "brain-eating" disease ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

nrbrkr
not rated yet Aug 05, 2016
"Dr. Harper explained in her presentation and in an NPR interview that the cervical cancer risk in the U.S. is already extremely low, and that vaccinations are unlikely to have any effect upon the rate of cervical cancer in the United States. Dr. Diane Harper, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, says the vaccine is being way oversold.

That's pretty striking, because Harper worked on studies that got the vaccines approved. And she has accepted grants from the manufacturers.

Harper changed her mind when the vaccine makers started lobbying state legislatures to require schoolkids to get vaccinated.

"Ninety-five percent of women who are infected with HPV never, ever get cervical cancer," she says. "It seemed very odd to be mandating something for which 95 percent of infections never amount to anything."

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.