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J Med Virol. 2002 Feb;66(2):151-8.

Molecular epidemiology of molluscum contagiosum virus and analysis of the host-serum antibody response in Spanish HIV-negative patients.

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Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia, C.S.I.C., Madrid, Spain.


Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) lesions from Spanish human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative patients were clinically examined and analyzed for virus detection and typing. In a study of 147 patients, 97 (66%) were children under 10 years, of whom 49% had atopic dermatitis. MCV lesions were morphologically indistinguishable among the different age groups, but atopic patients presented larger lesions compared with patients without the disorder. In adults, lesions were observed mainly on the genitals. MCVI was the predominant subtype. The deduced MCVI/MCVII ratio (146:1) was much higher than that found in other geographical areas. Protein preparations of the virus-induced lesions were immunoblotted with sera from 25 MCVI patients. The host-serum antibody response was weak and variable, although no significant differences were found between atopic and nonatopic patients. Three immunoreactive proteins of 74/80, 60, and 35 kDa were detected in almost all the analyzed sera. The 35 and 74/80-kDa proteins were virus specific, whereas the 60-kDa protein band was composed of a mix of human keratins. Immunoblotting of MCV lesions and vaccinia virus-infected cell extracts with either MCV patient serum or a rabbit antiserum against vaccinia virus showed no cross-reactivity of these two human poxviruses at the antigenic level.

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