Quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination decreases genital warts

January 01, 0001

Quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination decreases genital warts

Quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has high efficacy in clinical trials but no reports describe its effects at a population level. From July, 2007, Australia was the first country to fund a vaccination programme for all women aged 12—26 years. The researchers from Australia established a national surveillance network in Australia and aimed to identify trends in diagnoses of genital warts in 2004—09. They obtained standardised data for demographic factors, frequency of genital warts, HPV vaccination status, and sexual behaviour for new patients attending eight sexual health services in Australia between January, 2004, and December, 2009. Their primary group of interest was female Australian residents who were eligible for free vaccination, although data were assessed for patients ineligible for free vaccination, including women older than 26 years of age, non-resident women, and men.

Among 112 083 new patients attending sexual health services, they identified 9% as cases of genital warts. Before the vaccine programme started, there was no change in proportion of women or heterosexual men diagnosed with genital warts. After vaccination began, a decline in number of diagnoses of genital warts was noted for young female residents (59%). No significant decline was noted in female non- residents, women older than 26 years in July, 2007, or in men who have sex with men. However, proportionally fewer heterosexual men were diagnosed with genital warts during the vaccine period (28%), and this effect was more pronounced in young men. By 2009, 65.1% of female Australian residents who were eligible for free vaccine reported receipt of quadrivalent or unknown HPV vaccine.

The researchers concluded: "The decrease in frequency of genital warts in young Australian women resulting from the high coverage of HPV vaccination might provide protective effects in heterosexual men through herd immunity."

Although there was a decrease in males by targeting females, it may be worth vaccinating males as well.

For the full abstract, click here.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases published online 9 November 2010
© 2010 Elsevier Ltd
Quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination and trends in genital warts in Australia: analysis of national sentinel surveillance data. Basil Donovan, Neil Franklin, Rebecca Guy et al. Correspondence to Prof Basil Donovan: [email protected]

Category: X. Female Genital System, Breast, Y. Male Genital System, Breast. Keywords: papillomavirus, vaccination, genital warts, trends, Australia, analysis of national sentinel surveillance data, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 26 November 2010

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