Ultrastructural findings in mucocutaneous infections of patients seropositive to HIV

S. Cavicchini, A. Brezzi, E. Alessi

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Tissue samples from 19 HIV-seropositive immunocompromised patients suffering from oral hairy leukoplakia, chronic vesicular or ulcerative herpes simplex, chronic nonmetameric herpes zoster, secondary syphilis, condylomata acuminata, molluscum contagiosum, or disseminated cutaneous mycobacteriosis were examined ultrastructurally in order to better define the fine structure of the causative organisms in parasitic conditions and to clarify the host- parasite relationships. Taking into account the few data in the literature regarding the same disorders in immunocompetent subjects, no striking differences in the morphology of the infectious agents or in the types of parasitism were found. Nevertheless, isolated herpesvirus and papillomavirus virions were found outside the infected cells, and this observation, if confirmed in a larger series of cases, could suggest a persistent infectivity of the lesions in immunocompromised patients. Moreover, electron microscopy proved to be useful for diagnostic purposes; in one case of disseminated cutaneous mycobacteriosis, repeated cultures failed to grow the organism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-325
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • AIDS
  • Chronic herpes simplex
  • Chronic herpes zoster
  • Condylomata acuminata
  • Cutaneous mycobacteriosis
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Oral hairy leukoplakia
  • Secondary syphilis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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