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General Acquisition of Human Papillomavirus Infections of Skin Occurs in Early Infancy

By Annika Antonsson, Silvana Karanfilovska, Pelle G. Lindqvist and Bengt Göran Hansson


The human skin papillomaviruses (HPVs) represent a group of ubiquitous viruses detected at a high prevalence in the normal skin of healthy adults. In the present study, we analyzed skin swab samples from babies during their first days of life and from infants at various ages up to age 4 years. Specimens from their parents and, for the newborn babies, environmental samples were also investigated. HPV DNA was already detected on the day of birth in samples from 2 of the 16 babies, and 45% of the samples from the babies were positive for HPV in the days following birth. Seventy-seven percent of the skin samples collected from the mothers were HPV DNA positive. The prevalence of HPV DNA among children from the ages of 1 month to 4 years varied between 50 and 70%. The HPV DNA sequences detected revealed a great diversity of genotypes and putative genotypes. Among 115 samples from 38 infants and 31 parents and 7 environmental samples, a total of 73 HPV types or putative types were isolated. Of these, 26 putative HPV types have not been described before. Our data suggest that asymptomatic HPV infections of normal skin are acquired very early in infancy and are caused by a great multiplicity of HPV types

Topics: Virology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JCM.41.6.2509-2514.2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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