Yale joins in HPV vaccine study

     
   

The School of Public Health and the Connecticut Department of Public Health are studying the effects of a vaccine against the leading cause of cervical cancer—the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV).

Although the body’s immune system clears most HPV infections, some cause precancerous lesions and cervical cancer. In the United States, 6.2 million new infections are diagnosed each year.

The vaccine Gardasil, marketed by Merck, is licensed for females 9 to 26 years old and targets strains of the virus that are thought to cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and strains that cause 90 percent of genital warts. The Yale office of the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program will survey pathology laboratories and health care providers to determine whether new diagnoses of precancerous lesions have declined since the introduction of the vaccine.

Linda M. Niccolai, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology, is the director of the project.


 

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