Serological assays are useful tools for studies of the epidemiology of human papillomaviruses (HPVs). a reliable alternative to serum screening for HPV. Human papillomavirus (HPV) contamination is the most common viral sexually transmitted disease. Contamination with low-risk HPV types is usually associated with genital warts, while contamination with high-risk HPV types is usually associated with anogenital malignancies (43). Research on HPV has been hindered by the difficulties encountered in establishing culture systems for the computer virus. To circumvent this problem, researchers have produced viral capsids of various types of HPV in vaccinia computer virus, yeast, and baculovirus expression systems (21, 24, 29, 44). These viral capsids appear identical to natural viral capsids (19) and have been used extensively in serological assays. The serological response (mainly immunoglobulin G [IgG]) persists over time and is associated with the cumulative quantity of sex partners over a lifetime and not with the recent quantity of sex partners. Therefore, seropositivity is usually thought to be a marker of past contamination (10). The persistence and type specificity of the serological response to HPV has made HPV serology a useful epidemiological tool. By using serological assays, experts have been able to follow styles in HPV contamination rates in various populations and to establish risk factors for HPV contamination and HPV-related CAY10505 disease (6, 20, 28, 41). Regrettably, serological assays require the invasive process of venipuncture. A stylish alternative to venipuncture is usually oral sampling, which provides the advantages of convenience, prevention of accidental transmission of blood-borne pathogens, the ease of use in pediatric and geriatric populations, and the potential for self-testing by patients in their own homes (15). Saliva has frequently been used as a specimen for antibody detection due to the ease and simplicity of its collection. Antibodies to egg antigen, Epstein-Barr computer virus, and human immunodeficiency computer virus (HIV) have been detected in saliva specimens (2, 8, 12, 33, 38, TNFRSF13C 45, 52, 55); however, saliva may be less than ideal for antibody detection. Saliva contains salivary gland secretions as well as sloughed cells, bacteria, mucin, and mucosal transudate (13). Bacteria produce proteases that can degrade the antibodies present in the sample, and mucins make saliva hard to pipette (13). An alternative to saliva is usually oral mucosal transudate (OMT), an IgG-rich serous fluid that seeps across mucosal surfaces in the oral cavity (13). OMT can be collected with the OraSure device (OraSure Technologies, Inc.), which consists of a pad designed to enhance the circulation of serum transudate through the gums and a transport vial made up of a medium supplemented with antibacterial brokers to inhibit growth of oral flora during transport. Antibodies to HIV can be assayed by using the OraSure collection device, and these antibodies reflect serum antibody status (13). The OraSure specimen has also been used to measure antibodies to parvovirus B19 and hepatitis A, B, and C viruses (9, 51). Antibodies to HPV have previously been detected in OMT (36). The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of an oral-specimen assay for HPV antibodies as a noninvasive alternative to serological screening. HIV-positive individuals were chosen to participate in this study due to the higher HPV contamination rates in this populace (34, 48, 49). We demonstrate that HPV-specific IgG antibodies are detectable in oral fluids CAY10505 and that their presence weakly correlates with the presence of antibodies in serum. Further development of this oral-fluid HPV antibody assay could lead to a safe, noninvasive epidemiological tool for the study of HPVs. (A portion of this work was presented previously [J. E. Lewis, I. V. Snowhite, J. Slavinsky III, and M. E. Hagensee, Abstr. 18th Ann. Int. Papillomavirus Conf., Barcelona, Spain, poster abstr. 145, 2000]). MATERIALS AND METHODS Patient population and study design. Study participants were men and women receiving routine blood draws at the HIV outpatient program at the Medical Center of Louisiana, New Orleans. The study CAY10505 protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center prior to initiation. Informed consent was obtained followed CAY10505 by collection of (i) whole saliva (participants were asked.