This web page was produced as an assignment for an undergraduate course at Davidson College.

Life Cycle Response: InnateCellular Humoral Evasion Vaccine SourcesMain

Despite its attempts at evasion, the majority of HPV infections are cleared by the immune system. As there is no medical treatment available to combat the disease, this outcome is fortunate. The genital or cutaneous lesions caused by the virus can be removed through topical medication, injections of IFN-α, cryotherapy, or surgery (Stoppler 2006).

However, even with wart removal and immune-system clearance, a few virus particles sometimes remain latent in basal epithelial cells until the activated immune cells decrease in number; persistent infections such as this in genital warts – especially in HPV-16 and 18 – can lead to tumorous lesions in the cervix (dysplasia). Mutations in the oncogenes E6 and E7, or in the growth inhibitors E2 and E4, are usually the cause of these lesions, which can then become cancerouos in some cases (Doorbar 2005; Stanley 2006).

Development of cervical cancer National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. Reproduced with permission. <>.


© Copyright 2006 Department of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035
Send comments, questions, and suggestions to: or (instructor)