Human Papillomavirus- Serotype 5 (HPV-5)

"Even Tom Sawyer’s Dead-Cat-In-The-Cemetary-At-Midnight Cure won’t cure these warts"



Description: A member of the Papovaviridae family of viruses, HPV-5 is a double stranded DNA virus with an icosahedral capsid. The virus is non-enveloped. HPV-5 belongs to the genus Papillomavirus, which is associated with skin conditions. The genome of this virus is known to have three distinct regions: 1) an upstream regulatory region which controls transcription and translation; 2) at least seven early genes which encode proteins required for transcription and DNA replication; and 3) two late genes responsible for the production of capsid proteins.

Power: HPV-5 affects a small number of immunocompromised individuals, but it creates a lifetime infection.

Attacks: Papillomaviruses are host-species specific and are also restricted in their tissue tropism. HPV-5 is categorized as a cutaneous type because it multiplies only in the epithelial cells of the skin. This dermatotropic virus has been implicated as a cause of squamous cell carcinomas of the skin.

Outcome: HPV-5 is responsible for causing epidermodysplasia verruciformis, which is a rare condition seen in people with particular autosomal recessive hereditary cell-mediated immunodeficiency. The infection is generally acquired during childhood, but like most papillomaviruses, it persists for life. This condition is characterized by two types of lesions: flat warts and reddish-brownish macular scaly patches. Squamous cell carcinomas arise in about 1/3 of all epidermodysplasia verrciformis patients.

Speed: Skin warts have a long incubation period of up to 2 years. HPV-5 can,however, regress and recur spontaneously.

Vaccines: Only experimental vaccines have been produced for human papillomaviruses, but none have been specifically produced for HPV-5. This is difficult, given that this strain usually affects immunocompromised individuals.

Prevention: Transmission of skin warts occurs mainly in school age children via direct contact with abrasions. Subsequent spread may occur by scratching. So, adequate hand-washing and health education may be appropriate measures. However, HPV-5 gives rise to a condition that ensues as a result of genetic cell-mediated immunodeficiency.

Treatment: The skin warts can be removed by cryotherapy or caustic chemicals. These skin warts, however, usually regress spontaneously.

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