Ten Important Things To Remember about Papillomaviridae


If you can only remember 10 things about Papillomavirus, here are the most important features to keep in mind.


  1. DNA virus with some pretty complicated ways of regulating transcription.
  2. Papillomaviruses tend to be highly species-specific.
  3. Special tropism for basal squamous epithelial cells.
  4. Notoriously difficult to grow in culture. No one has been able to culture HPV successfully, probably because papillomaviruses grow in stratified squamous epithelium and monolayer in vitro cultures can’t mimic this environment.
  5. Papillomaviruses have active and latent phases.
  6. Transmitted through direct contact, sexual transmission, and vertical transmission (during birth).
  7. Look out; serious oncogenic potential! Some, but not all, types of papillomaviruses are implicated in human cancers. These include cervical cancer, anal cancer, vulvar cancer, penile cancer, and some oral and laryngeal cancers can all be strongly associated with particular strains of HPV.
  8. There are at least 96 known strains of HPV… and counting!
  9. Different types of warts are associated with different strains of HPV.
  10. The new Gardisal vaccine is the first vaccine for HPV which protects girls ages 9-26 against four strains of HPV known to cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

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