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APMIS. 2010 Jun;118(6-7):422-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2010.02625.x.

The natural history of human papillomavirus infections of the mucosal epithelia.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294-0005, USA. <>


Human papillomaviruses (HPVs), members of a very large family of small DNA viruses, cause both benign papillomas and malignant tumors. While most research on these viruses over the past 30 years has focused on their oncogenic properties in the genital tract, they also play an important role in diseases of the upper aerodigestive tract. Rapidly accelerating advances in knowledge have increased our understanding of the biology of these viruses and this knowledge, in turn, is being applied to new approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat HPV-induced diseases. In this introductory article, we provide an overview of the structure and life cycle of the mucosal HPVs and their interactions with their target tissues and cells. Finally, we provide our thoughts about treatments for HPV-induced diseases, present and future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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