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Cutaneous wart-associated HPV types: Prevalence and relation with patient characteristics

Background: Epidemiological data on cutaneous wart-associated HPV types are rare. Objectives: To examine the prevalence of cutaneous wart-associated HPV types and their relation with patient characteristics.

Study design: Swabs were taken from all 744 warts of 246 consecutive immunocompetent participants and analysed by a broad spectrum HSL-PCR/MPG assay. Patient details including location, duration, and number of warts were recorded.

Results: No HPV DNA was detected in 49 (7%) swabs, a single HPV type in 577 (78%) swabs, and multiple HPV types in 118 (16%) swabs. HPV 2, 27 and 57 (alpha genus), HPV 4 (gamma genus) and HPV 1 (mu genus) were the most frequently detected HPV types, and HPV 63 (mu genus) was only frequently detected together with other HPV types. Less frequently detected HPV types were HPV 3, 7, 10 and 28 (alpha genus), 65, 88 and 95 (gamma genus) and 41 (nu genus). Warts containing HPV 1 showed the most distinct clinical profile, being related to children aged <12 years, plantar location, duration <6 months, and to patients with <4 warts. Conclusions: HPV 27, 57, 2 and 1 are the most prevalent HPV types in cutaneous warts in general population. Warts infected with HPV 1 have a distinct clinical profile.

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