Risk of Developing Multiple Sclerosis After HPV Vaccination

Vaccine in vial, glass bottle
Vaccine in vial, glass bottle
Investigators sought to determine the link between HPV vaccination and the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

There is no significant association between the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and multiple sclerosis, despite concerns over its propensity to cause the development of central nervous system autoimmune disorders, according to findings in a systematic literature review published in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.

The literature review identified relevant articles from a search performed in 5 different search engines: ClinicalTrials.gov, Google Scholar, ISI Web of Knowledge, Medline, and Scopus. From this search, 15 different publications met established criteria during evaluation to be utilized for the qualitative synthesis. Of these publications, 1 pooled randomized clinical trial analysis, 5 were observational studies, and 9 were reviews. Of the 5 observational studies, 2 were case-control studies and 3 were cohort studies. Of the reviews, 2 were systematic and 7 were narrative.

The review of the cohort studies revealed that the relative risk for multiple sclerosis onset ranged from 1.54 (95% CI, 0.04-8.59) to 1.37 (95% CI, 0.74-3.20). In case-control studies, for the group exposed to the HPV vaccination, the odds ratio ranged from 0.3 (95% CI, 0.1- 0.9) to 1.60 (95% CI, 0.79-3.25). Neither of these results is significant, indicating that there is not a strong connection between multiple sclerosis onset and the HPV vaccination.

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This literature review was conducted in response to the controversial nature of the correlation between the HPV vaccination and the development of central nervous system autoimmune disorders. Although the review shows no significant association between the vaccine and multiple sclerosis, the research is limited and cannot be generalized across all instances of central nervous system autoimmune disorders.

Further research should be conducted to determine whether these findings continue to hold validity across the entire pattern of central nervous system autoimmune disorders.


Meggiolaro A, Migliara G, La Torre G. Association between human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination and risk of multiple sclerosis: a systematic review [published online January 15, 2018]. Hum Vaccin Immunother. doi:10.1080/21645515.2017.1423155