Harley, John P. Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:March 2019
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- Clinical manifestations
- Development of cervical cancer
- Treatment and prevention
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Any of the small, nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses of the Papovaviridae family that selectively infect the epithelium of the skin and mucous membranes of humans. More than 200 types of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) [Fig. 1] have been recognized on the basis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence data. More than 80 genotypes are well characterized and are associated with specific clinical manifestations in humans. For example, some cutaneous types of HPV infect epithelial cells of the skin of the hands and feet and cause papillomas (benign wartlike growths). The mucosal types infect the lining of the mouth, throat, respiratory tract, or anogenital epithelium and are a major factor in the development of cervical cancer. In addition, papillomaviruses can infect a wide variety of other animals, including rabbits, dogs, and cattle. See also: Animal virus; Cancer; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Epithelium; Virus; Virus classification
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