Background: This study examined the cellular immunity of 0, 1, 2, and 3 doses of Gardasil vaccine (4vHPV) in girls after 6 years and their responses to a subsequent dose of Cervarix vaccine (2vHPV).
Methods: A subset of girls (n = 59) who previously received 0, 1, 2, or 3 doses of 4vHPV 6 years earlier were randomly selected from a cohort study of Fijian girls (age 15-19 years). Blood was collected before and 28 days after a dose of 2vHPV. The HPV16-and HPV18-specific cellular immune response was determined by IFNγ-ELISPOT and by measurement of cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cell supernatants.
Results: Six years after 4vHPV vaccination, HPV18-specific responses were significantly lower in the 1-(1D) or 2-dose (2D) recipients compared with 3-dose recipients (2D: IFNγ-ELISPOT: P =.008; cytokines, IFNγ: P =.002; IL-2: P =.022; TNFα: P =.016; IL-10: P =.018; 1D: IL-2: P =.031; IL-10: P =.014). These differences were no longer significant post-2vHPV. No significant differences in HPV16 responses (except IL-2, P <.05) were observed between the 2-or 1-dose recipients and 3-dose recipients.
Conclusions: These data suggest that cellular immunity following reduced-dose schedules was detectable after 6 years, although the responses were variable between HPV types and dosage groups. The clinical significance of this is unknown. Further studies on the impact of reduced dose schedules are needed, particularly in high-disease burden settings.