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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2000 Nov;14(6):484-8.

Topical cidofovir for severe cutaneous human papillomavirus and molluscum contagiosum infections in patients with HIV/AIDS. A pilot study.

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Dermatology Unit M. Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy.



Cidofovir is a nucleoside analogue of deoxycytidine with a strong activity against several DNA viruses, including herpes, pox and human papilloma virus (HPV).


Fourteen acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients, 10 with extensive HPV lesions and four with molluscum contagiosum (MC) infections, unresponsive to conventional therapies, were treated with a cream containing cidofovir 1%. All the subjects had been on treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy for almost 1 year before starting the cream. Measured end-points of therapy were efficacy, tolerability, side-effects and freedom from recurrence.


Thirteen of the 14 patients (92.8%) completed the therapy, one dropped out. These 13 eventually cleared their MC or warts, over varying periods of time. In nine, the lesions regressed 2 weeks from the end of the first cycle of therapy. Three patients needed two cycles and the last three consecutive courses of topical therapy before the cutaneous lesions healed. No recurrence was observed in nine patients over an average follow-up period of 24.1 months (range 12-30 months). Four patients had isolated relapses, which were successfully treated with simple curettage. SIDE-EFFECTS: All the patients experienced side-effects where they applied the cream. Inflammation, erosion and a burning sensation were the most frequent. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation was observed in six cases, while two developed a transient alopecia on the beard area. No systemic side-effects or alteration of laboratory data were noted.


Cidofovir appears to offer an effective therapeutic alternative option for lesions that are unresponsive to conventional methods. Appropriate clinical trials are required, however, to confirm the true efficacy and safety of topical cidofovir.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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