You’ve probably heard the news reports about FDA’s approval of the first vaccine against cervical cancer. But what you probably didn’t know is that cows get a very similar virus called bovine papillomavirus (BPV) as opposed to human papillomavirus (HPV). And it’s the cows’ warts that were key in producing this new vaccine.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center collected BPV warts because they are rich in viral particles. Whereas the warts that occur in humans from HPV are not high in viral particles and that’s what the researchers needed.
The researchers used the BPV to learn how to grow human HPV in the laboratory. Soon after that they discovered that the three-dimensional outer shell of the virus was crucial to creating an immune response that could prevent infection. To learn more, go to: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060608225514.htm