Papillomavirus

Ian A. York york at mbcrr.dfci.harvard.edu
Sun Sep 17 18:05:16 EST 1995


In article <199509172221.AAA02515 at worldxs.worldaccess.nl>,
Peter Tieleman <petert at worldaccess.nl> wrote:
>Can someone help me to get some information about this virus.
>It probably killed my unborn son.

Although I'm not a clinican, I'm not aware of any evidence that 
papillomavirus can cause fetal death, abortion, miscarriage, or other 
anomalies.  (I just did a search on Medline for any articles on those 
subjects and did not find any.  Review articles do not list any damage to 
unborn children as a potential risk.)  For what reason do you think 
papillomavirus was the culprit?

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) (there are many different types - over 75) 
usually cause no disease.  The diseases that are associated with HPV fall 
into two groups: warts (usually genital warts) and cancer.  The latter, 
obviously, is the major concern.  It seems likely that some serotypes of 
HPV are responsible for the majority of female cervical cancer (although 
it is important to note that other factors probably have to be necessary 
- that is, HOV infection alone is not enough to cause the cancer; other 
factors, including smoking, are also risk factors).  Penile 
cancers are associated with HPV as well, although less frequently than 
female genital cancers.  


Other lesions associated with papillomviruses include respiratory 
obstruction, cancers of the esophagus and larynx, Bowen's disease (skin 
lesions), and rare forms of skin cancer.  The only one of these that is 
particularly associated with children is respiratory papillomatosis, and 
then only because it can be transmitted during birth.  

Ian

-- 
Ian York   (york at mbcrr.harvard.edu)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston MA 02115
Phone (617)-632-3921     Fax  (617)-632-2627




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