Vaccination against multiple HPV types.


Vaccines against the most common human papillomavirus (HPV) types are currently under development. Epidemiologic data suggest that the transmission dynamics of different HPV types are not independent. Some studies indicate that interactions among HPV types are synergistic, where infection with one type facilitates concurrent or subsequent infection with another HPV type. Other studies point to antagonistic interference among HPV types. Here we develop a mathematical model to explore how these interactions may either enhance or diminish the effectiveness of vaccination programs designed to reduce the prevalence of the HPV types associated with cervical cancer. We analyze the local stability of the infection-free and boundary equilibria and characterize the conditions leading to a coexistence equilibrium. We also illustrate the results with numerical simulations using realistic model parameters. We show that if interactions among HPV types are synergistic, mass vaccination may reduce the prevalence of types that are not even included in the vaccine.

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