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Molluscum contagiosum 

Molluscum contagiosum

Chapter:
Molluscum contagiosum
Author(s):

David A. Warrell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.070528_update_001

Update:

Chapter reviewed and minor changes made.

Updated on 31 May 2012. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 24 June 2017

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....

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