Chapter

Molluscum contagiosum

David A. Warrell

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.070528_update_001

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Molluscum contagiosum

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Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a Molluscipox DNA virus which infects keratinocytes of the epidermal stratum spinosum, producing distinctive small umbilicated papules on the skin. Its genome encodes a variety of proteins that suppress the host’s immune response. In children it is spread by skin contact, producing few or many lesions, while in sexually active adults it causes anogenital lesions. Molluscum is self-limiting within a few years in the immunocompetent, but those with preexisting atopic eczema and immunosuppression, notably AIDS, commonly develop persistent diffuse eruptions with larger papules. Lesions can be removed mechanically or chemically. More severe infections can be treated with imiquimod or cidofovir....

Chapter.  1295 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Infectious Diseases

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