Three prophylactic vaccines are approved to protect against HPV infections. These vaccines are highly immunogenic. The most recent HPV vaccine, Gardasil-9, protects against HPV types associated with ~90% of cervical cancer (worldwide). Thus, ~10% of HPV-associated cancers are not protected by Gardasil-9. Although this is not a large percentage overall, the HPV types associated with 10% of cervical cancer not protected by the current vaccine are significantly important, especially in HIV/AIDS patients who are infected with multiple HPV types. To broaden the spectrum of protection against HPV infections, we developed mixed MS2-L2 VLPs (MS2-31L2/16L2 VLPs and MS2-consL2 (69-86) VLPs) in a previous study. Immunization with the VLPs neutralized/protected mice against infection with eleven high-risk HPV types associated with ~95% of cervical cancer and against one low-risk HPV type associated with ~36% of genital warts & up to 32% of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Here, we report that the mixed MS2-L2 VLPs can protect mice from three additional HPV types: HPV51, which is associated with ~0.8% of cervical cancer; HPV6, which is associated with up to 60% of genital warts; HPV5, which is associated with skin cancers in patients with epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV). Overall, mixed MS2-L2 VLPs can protect against twelve HPV types associated with ~95.8% of cervical cancers and against two HPV types associated with ~90% of genital warts and >90% recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Additionally, the VLPs protect against one of two HPV types associated with ~90% of HPV-associated skin cancers in patients with EV. More importantly, we observed that mixed MS2-L2 VLPs elicit protective antibodies that last over 9 months. Furthermore, a spray-freeze-dried formulation of the VLPs is stable, immunogenic, and protective at room temperature and 37 °C.
human papillomaviruses; thermostable vaccines; protection; MS2 bacteriophage; virus-like particles; spray-freeze-drying; longevity