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J Virol. 2000 Dec;74(24):11636-41.

The ubiquity and impressive genomic diversity of human skin papillomaviruses suggest a commensalic nature of these viruses.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.


Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are epitheliotropic viruses, with some types suggested to be associated with skin cancer. In this study, swab samples collected from five different sites on the skin of renal transplant recipients, dialysis patients, and age- and sex-matched healthy controls were analyzed for HPV DNA by a newly designed PCR test. Most individuals were found to have asymptomatic HPV infections; more specifically, 94% of the renal transplant patients, 82% of the dialysis patients, and 80% of the healthy controls were positive for HPV DNA. The multiplicity of the HPVs detected was astounding: 20 previously described and 30 putatively new types were identified by cloning and sequencing of 33 samples from 13 individuals. These results demonstrate that normal human skin harbors an array of papillomaviruses, most of them previously unknown.

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