Maternal HPV-antibodies and seroconversion to HPV in children during the first 3 years of life

Stina Syrjänen, Tim Waterboer, Marjut Rintala, Michael Pawlita, Kari Syrjänen, Karolina Louvanto, Seija Grenman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


To assess the dynamics of human papillomavirus (HPV) serology, we analyzed HPV6-,11-,16-,18-, and 45 antibodies in infants during the first 36 months of their life. Serial serum samples of 276/327 mother–child pairs were collected at baseline (mothers) and at months 1, 2, 6, 12, 24 and 36 (offspring), and tested for HPVL1-antibodies using the GST-L1 assay. Concordance between maternal and infant HPV-antibody levels remained high until month-6 (p < = 0.001), indicating maternal antibody transfer. At 1 month, 40–62% of the infants tested seropositive to any of the 5 HPV-types. Between 1–3 years of age, 53% (58/109) of the children born to HPV-seronegative mothers tested HPV-seropositive. Times to positive seroconversion varied between13.4 and 18.7 months, and times to negative seroconversion (decay) between 8.5 and 9.9 months. Significant independent predictors of infants’ seroconversion to LR-HPV were hand warts and mother’s history of oral warts and seroconversion to LR-HPV. No predictors of seroconversion to HR-HPV were identified. Maternal HPV-IgG-antibodies are transferred to her offspring and remain detectable for 6 months, corroborating the IgG molecule’s half-life. Seroconversion to HPV-genotypes 6, 11, 16 and 18 was confirmed among children born to HPV-seronegative mothers, implicating an immune response to these HPV-genotypes during early infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2227
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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