Background. Little is known about human papilloma virus (HPV) seroprevalence in the healthy Italian population. The aim of the study was to assess seroprevalence of antibodies against HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 among girls and young women in Italy.
Methods. Sera were tested with a commercially available ELISA assay detecting specific IgG. Results. Seroprevalence was 54.1% in girls between 11 to 18 years old and 8.2% in over 18s. Overall seropositivity in birth cohorts invited for free immunization reached 72.8% and was significantly higher than in other age subgroups. The highest levels of antibodies were detected in girls of 12 years old that should have just completed the vaccination schedule.
Conclusion. A standardized seroepidemiological survey on HPV represents a useful tool for identifying groups at risk in which immunization is recommended, monitoring of vaccinated women, assessing whether booster vaccination is required.