Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are one of the most common sexually transmitted infections and remains a public health problem worldwide. There is strong evidence that HPV causes cervical, vulva and vaginal cancers, genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. The current treatments for HPV-induced infections are ineffective and recurrence is common-place. Therefore, to reduce the burden of HPV-induced infections, several studies have investigated the effi cacy of different prophylactic vaccines in clinical human trials directed against HPV types 6, 11, 16, or 18. Notably, these HPV types contribute to a signifi cant proportion of disease worldwide. This review will focus on the published results of Merck & Co’s prophylactic quadrivalent recombinant vaccine targeting HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 (referred to as Gardasil ®). Data from the Phase III trial demonstrated that Gardasil was 100% effi cacious in preventing precancerous lesions of the cervix, vulva, and vagina and effective against genital warts. Due to the success of these human clinical trials, the FDA approved the registration of Gardasil on the 8 June 2006. In addition, since Gardasil has been effi cacious for 5 years post vaccination, the longest evaluation of an HPV vaccine, it is expected to reduce the incidence of these type specifi c HPV-induced diseases in the future.