Human papillomavirus type 5 is commonly present in immunosuppressed and immunocompetent individuals

Ingeborg L.A. Boxman*, L.H.C. Mulder, A. Russell, J.N. Bouwes Bavinck, A. Green, J. Ter Schegget

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


DNA of a wide spectrum of epidermodysplasia verruciformis-associated human papillomavirus (HPV) types (EV-HPV) has been detected in skin lesions and plucked hairs from both immunosuppressed and a considerable proportion of non-immunosuppressed persons. Recently, the skin of psoriatic patients was claimed to be an important reservoir for a particular EV-HPV type, HPV 5, which is considered as a high-risk HPV type for skin carcinomas. In the present study, we analysed plucked hairs from immunosuppressed renal transplant patients and immunocompetent individuals, utilizing an HPV 5- specific nested polymerase chain reaction. HPV 5 was detected in hairs derived from 14 of 31 (45%) immunosuppressed patients and 21 of 135 (16%) immunocompetent individuals. Both the immunosuppressed and the immunocompetent groups consisted of individuals with and without non-melanoma skin cancer. HPV 5 DNA was detected in similar proportions of hair samples plucked from individuals with and without skin cancer in either group. Our results indicate that HPV 5 is commonly present in the population. The role of HPV 5 in the pathogenesis of skin carcinomas and psoriasis remains to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-249
Number of pages4
JournalBritish journal of dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Human papillomavirus
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Renal transplant recipients
  • Skin cancer


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