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J Invest Dermatol. 1998 Aug;111(2):333-6.

A possible vertical transmission of human papillomavirus genotypes associated with epidermodysplasia verruciformis.

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Unité Mixte Institut Pasteur/INSERM U190, Paris, France.


Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV) is characterized by an abnormal genetic susceptibility to a group of related human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes, including the oncogenic HPV5 and HPV8. The mode of transmission of these viruses remains unknown. In view of the rare incidence of EV, we had a unique opportunity to perform a virologic study of the amniotic fluid and placenta from an EV patient infected with HPV5, HPV8, several other EV HPV, and HPV3. The child was born by cesarean section and the amniotic fluid specimen was taken prior to rupture of membranes. Analysis of the amniotic fluid and placenta specimens by a nested polymerase chain reaction method, using degenerate EV HPV primers or type-specific HPV primers, disclosed the presence of the variants of EV HPV5, HPV8, HPV24, and HPV36, and of HPV3 detected in the skin lesions of the patient. HPV5, HPV8, HPV24, and HPV3 were also detected in the placenta. No viral sequences were detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected 2 y and 6 mo before cesarean section, rendering an hematogenous transmission unlikely. The same HPV variants were also detected in cervical scrapes taken from the patient, which may suggest an ascending infection of the placenta. This first report of the detection of EV HPV in amniotic fluid, placenta, and cervical scrapes from an EV patient renders vertical transmission of EV HPV likely.

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