A selection of human sera were tested for the presence of antibodies that neutralized infectious human papillomavirus (HPV) type 11. Neutralizing antibodies were detected by prevention of HPV-11-induced condylomatous transformation of human foreskin chips transplanted subrenally into athymic mice. Test sera were obtained from 21 female patients with genital condylomas and eight patients with laryngeal papillomas. Control patients consisted of 57 adult random blood donors and five asymptomatic children. ELISAs demonstrated that all sera from patients with genital papillomas were strongly reactive to disrupted papillomavirus (PV) antigens of HPV-11, bovine PV type 1 and cottontail rabbit PV, but only two were weakly reactive to intact HPV-11. None of the eight sera from the laryngeal papilloma bearers reacted significantly to disrupted PV antigens, but four of the eight showed strong specific responses to intact HPV-11 only. The majority of the sera that were reactive to intact HPV-11 by ELISA neutralized HPV-11 infectivity in the athymic mouse xenograft system. The data indicated that ELISA reactivity to intact HPV-11 virions was a good predictor for the presence of HPV-11 neutralizing antibodies.


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