Papillomaviruses are ubiquitous DNA viruses affecting humans and animals and causing a variety of tumours of mucosal and cutaneous epithelia. Some of these lesions, particularly those affecting mucosal epithelia, can progress to squamous cell carcinomas. Prevention or cure of viral infection would ultimately lead to a decrease in the incidence of papillomavirus-associated cancers. Using recombinant proteins, we have developed prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against bovine papillomavirus type 4, a mucosal papillomavirus implicated in cancer of the alimentary canal in cattle; similar possibilities exist for the human mucosal papillomaviruses.


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