Human papillomavirus infections in children

  • Nanette B. Silverberg
Part of the Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases book series (BAID)


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a ubiquitous double-stranded DNA virus that infects human squamous cells causing a variety of clinical diseases ranging from plantar or common warts to genital warts to neoplasia of the cervix and genitalia. Over 200 HPV types have been characterized, but only about 20 are commonly identified in pediatric skin lesions. Once infected, the host requires an extended time period to produce antibodies and a cell-mediated immune response against HPV. Two out of three patients will achieve natural immune clearance by 2 years and three out of four by 3 years. Therapy of HPV infections includes agents that destroy the lesion, agents that induce immune response by the host, and removal techniques. For genital HPV, prevention of initial HPV infection is now the therapeutic gold standard and can be achieved by vaccination with a quadrivalent HPV 6, 11, 16, 18 vaccine in three doses introduced before an adolescent’s sexual debut. Another problem that may be alleviated long-term by HPV vaccination is the vertical transmission of genital HPV, which can result in pediatric condyloma or juvenile onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (juvenile laryngeal papillomatosis). Genital warts in childhood that cannot be documented to have occurred via vertical transmission from an infected mother must be sexually transmitted, the result of sexual abuse in elementary school children. Until vaccination has become widespread, genital HPV infections must be carefully screened through papanicolaou screening, HPV screening and cytology.


Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Genital Wart Verrucous Carcinoma Squaric Acid Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nanette B. Silverberg
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of DermatologySt. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Beth Israel Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Columbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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