Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies have been raised against a fusion protein containing β-galactosidase and part of the major capsid protein L1 of the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16. The polyclonal antibodies cross-reacted with the L1 protein of several HPV types including HPV-1, -2, -6 and -11 when reacted with virus-infected tissue sections, and with HPV-6 and -18 L1 fusion proteins on Western blotting. Monoclonal antibodies against the L1 fusion protein of HPV-16 reacted only with HPV-16 L1 fusion proteins on Western blots and with HPV-16-containing biopsy sections as assessed by DNA-DNA hybridization. These antibodies did not detect HPV-6 L1 protein after Western blotting or in HPV-6-infected tissue sections, although one did react with an HPV-18 fusion protein after Western blotting. The monoclonal antibodies were able to detect HPV-16 antigens in routine formaldehyde-fixed, wax-embedded sections of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia sections. HPV-16 L1 proteins were seen in one-third of biopsies that were positive using the polyclonal cross-reacting antisera. Polyclonal antibodies to fusion proteins containing part of the minor capsid protein L2 of HPV-6 or -16 appeared to be more type-specific as no cross-reactivity was seen when these antibodies were reacted with HPV-1- and -2-infected tissue sections.


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