A randomised trial designed to compare three and two doses of quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in adolescent girls in India was converted to a cohort study after suspension of HPV vaccination in trials by the Indian Government. In this Article, the revised aim of the cohort study was to compare vaccine efficacy of single dose to that of three and two doses in protecting against persistent HPV 16 and 18 infection at 10 years post vaccination.
In the randomised trial, unmarried girls aged 10–18 years were recruited from nine centres across India and randomly assigned to either two doses or three doses of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine (Gardasil [Merck Sharp & Dohme, Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA]; 0·5 mL administered intramuscularly). After suspension of recruitment and vaccination, the study became a longitudinal, prospective cohort study by default, and participants were allocated to four cohorts on the basis of the number vaccine doses received per protocol: the two-dose cohort (received vaccine on days 1 and 180 or later), three-dose cohort (days 1, 60, and 180 or later), two-dose default cohort (days 1 and 60 or later), and the single-dose default cohort. Participants were followed up yearly. Cervical specimens were collected from participants 18 months after marriage or 6 months after first childbirth, whichever was earlier, to assess incident and persistent HPV infections. Married participants were screened for cervical cancer as they reached 25 years of age. Unvaccinated women age-matched to the married vaccinated participants were recruited to serve as controls. Vaccine efficacy against persistent HPV 16 and 18 infections (the primary endpoint) was analysed for single-dose recipients and compared with that in two-dose and three-dose recipients after adjusting for imbalance in the distribution of potential confounders between the unvaccinated and vaccinated cohorts. This trial is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN98283094, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00923702.
Vaccinated participants were recruited between Sept 1, 2009, and April 8, 2010 (date of vaccination suspension), and followed up over a median duration of 9·0 years (IQR 8·2–9·6). 4348 participants had three doses, 4980 had two doses (0 and 6 months), and 4949 had a single dose. Vaccine efficacy against persistent HPV 16 and 18 infection among participants evaluable for the endpoint was 95·4% (95% CI 85·0–99·9) in the single-dose default cohort (2135 women assessed), 93·1% (77·3–99·8) in the two-dose cohort (1452 women assessed), and 93·3% (77·5–99·7) in three-dose recipients (1460 women assessed).
A single dose of HPV vaccine provides similar protection against persistent infection from HPV 16 and 18, the genotypes responsible for nearly 70% of cervical cancers, to that provided by two or three doses.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.