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J Gen Virol. 2003 Jul;84(Pt 7):1881-6.

Prevalence and type spectrum of human papillomaviruses in healthy skin samples collected in three continents.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, SE-20502 Malmö, Sweden.


In order to investigate whether previous findings of ubiquitous skin papillomavirus infection in Caucasians apply to populations from other parts of the world, skin swab samples from Bangladesh, Japan, Ethiopia and Zambia were analysed in parallel with Swedish samples. The prevalence of HPV DNA in the material from Bangladesh was 68 %, Japan 54 %, Ethiopia 52 %, Zambia 42 % and Sweden 70 %. A great multiplicity of genotypes was demonstrated by the finding of 88 HPV types or putative types in 142 HPV DNA-positive samples in total. Double or multiple genotypes were frequently found in the same sample. The most prevalent HPV type was HPV-5, with an overall prevalence of 6.5 %. This was also the only type that was found in samples from all of the countries in the study. The results presented show that commensal skin HPV infections have a worldwide distribution with a very broad spectrum of genotypes.

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