High β-HPV DNA loads and strong seroreactivity are present in epidermodysplasia verruciformis

Valentina Dell'Oste, Barbara Azzimonti, Marco De Andrea, Michele Mondini, Elisa Zavattaro, Giorgio Leigheb, Sönke J. Weissenborn, Herbert Pfister, Kristina M. Michael, Tim Waterboer, Michael Pawlita, Ada Amantea, Santo Landolfo, Marisa Gariglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV) is a rare disease, characterized by cutaneous warts and associated with a strong predisposition to β-genus human papillomavirus (HPV). Earlier studies reported high copy numbers of HPV-DNA in nearly all skin tumors from EV patients, but neither HPV replication status in non-lesional skin nor anti-HPV seroreactivity in these patients have been reported yet. We therefore performed a comprehensive viral load analysis for the more common β-HPV types on skin samples and plucked eyebrow hairs from four EV patients treated at our dermatology department. The results clearly demonstrate that they carry a multiplicity (up to eighteen types) of β-HPV genotypes in both skin sites. Worthy of note, a high intrapatient concordance for specific types between hair bulbs and skin biopsies was observed and the same β-PV profile was maintained over time. Viral load analysis revealed a load range between less than one HPV-DNA copy per 100 cells to more than 400 HPV-DNA copies per cell in both eyebrow hairs and skin proliferative lesions. Evaluation of seroreactivity to β-HPV types in the four EV patients revealed that antibodies against the 16 β-HPV were significantly more prevalent and showed higher titers than in the controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1026-1034
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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