A suitable genital wart vaccine could slash the £17 million that the disease costs the NHS every year, experts said.
Cases of genital warts, which are the UK’s most commonly diagnosed viral sexually transmitted infection (STI), could be reduced if the government endorsed a vaccine.
The highest rates are seen among men between the ages of 20 and 24 and girls aged 16 to 19.
Over the past 40 years cases of the disease have increased sharply, with a quarter of all new STI diagnoses now made up of genital warts and herpes.
But a jab designed to protect against cervical cancer could help to reduce the number of genital wart cases, experts from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
The current drug Cervarix can protect against cervical cancer but not warts.
In contrast, Gardasil prevents strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) which can lead to the cancer and genital warts.
The authors, writing in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, concluded: “Genital warts exert a considerable impact on health services, a large proportion of which could be prevented through immunisation using the quadrivalent HPV vaccine.”