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Korean women more prone to infection with HPV-52, 58
  • By Kim Yun-mi
  • Published 2019.03.28 15:03
  • Updated 2019.03.28 15:03
  • comments 0

Korean women are more likely to be infected with type 52 and type 58 of human papillomavirus (HPV), a major cause of cervical cancer, than their peers in other countries, a study showed.

To prevent the disease effectively, Korean women need HPV vaccines that can cover the two types of HPV, it said.

Professor Kim Young-tak of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Asan Medical Center speaks during a news conference on HPV prevention in Seoul Wednesday.

Kim Young-tak, a professor at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Asan Medical Center, introduced his study on 9-valent HPV vaccines during a news conference organized by MSD Korea to promote HPV prevention.

Kim published his study on the Journal of Infectious Diseases in May last year. The research aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Gardasil 9, a 9-valent HPV vaccine, in 1,717 Asians, including 307 Koreans, for 4.5 years. The result showed that the group vaccinated with Gardasil 9 did not have any cervical, vulvar, vaginal related diseases associated with HPV-31/33/45/52/58 infection.

Among Koreans, in particular, those vaccinated with Gardasil 9 did not have any persistent infection with the five kinds of HPV.

“This study confirmed that HPV infection is an important contributor to cancer morbidity and mortality,” Kim said. “As Korean women have a high prevalence of HPV-52 and 58 infections, they need to be inoculated with HPV vaccines that prevent more types of HPV infection.”

Kim also released data that showed that healthy Korean females had 2.3 percent and 0.9 percent infection rate in HPV-52 and 58, respectively, which was higher than those of women in other countries.

HPV vaccines in Korea contributed to a 74 percent prevention of HPV-16 and 18 infections. Other HPV vaccines that additionally covered HPV-31/33/45/52/58 prevented 92 percent of such HPV infection.

One-hundred-and-sixteen countries have adopted HPV vaccination as the national immunization program (NIP). Among then, 27, including Australia and the U.S., chose 9-valent HPV vaccines for the NIP.

In Korea, 12-year-old females can get two HPV vaccines under the NIP – one is Cervarix against HPV-16 and 18, and the other is quadrivalent Gardasil.


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