Acquired epidermodysplasia verruciformis due to multiple and unusual HPV infection among vertically-infected, HIV-positive adolescents in Zimbabwe

Academic Article


  • Background. We have previously described the presentation of epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV)-like eruptions in almost a quarter of hospitalized adolescents with vertically-acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Harare, Zimbabwe, a region with a high prevalence of HIV infection. Methods. We performed a clinical case note review and skin biopsy from affected sites in 4 HIV-infected adolescents with EV-like lesions in Harare. Biopsies were processed for histology and for human papillomavirus (HPV) typing. Results. All patients had long-standing skin lesions that pre-dated the diagnosis of HIV by several years. The histology of skin biopsies from all patients was consistent with EV. In each biopsy, EV-associated β-HPV type 5 was identified (additionally, type 19 was found in 1 biopsy). Cutaneous wart-associated HPV types 1 and 2 were detected in all biopsies, together with genital lesion-associated HPV types 6, 16, and 52, (as well as ≥3 other genital lesion-associated HPV types). Despite immune reconstitution with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), there was no improvement in EV-like lesions in any patient. Conclusions. EV is a disfiguring and potentially stigmatizing condition among this patient group and is difficult to treat; cART appears to have no impact on the progression of skin disease. Among adolescents with longstanding HIV-induced immunosuppression and with high levels of sun exposure, close dermatological surveillance for potential skin malignancy is required. © The Author 2012.
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    Author List

  • Lowe SM; Katsidzira L; Meys R; Sterling JC; De Koning M; Quint W; Nathoo K; Munyati S; Ndhlovu CE; Salisbury JR
  • Volume

  • 54
  • Issue

  • 10