The contagious nature of warts was proved 52 years ago when Ciuffo1 transmitted the disease with an ultrafiltrate. Particles thought to be viral have been visualized by electron microscopy from the papilloma and "Myrmecia" type warts. Myrmecia warts have the following characteristics, which some think help differentiate them from verruca vulgaris:
Location—mostly plantar, palmar, pulp of digit
Duration—89% present less than one year
Number of lesions—rarely more than 5 (6%)
Color—redness and swelling
Surrounding callus—thick hyperkeratotic collar
Edge—single and distinct
Curettage—impression of plunging into a hole which suddenly exudes the wart
Electron microscopy—virus-like particles
The Myrmecia type wart was deliberately selected because of the reported greater number of viral particles as opposed to banal warts.
This study demonstrates the isolation of the wart virus in tissue culture and its subsequent successful reinoculation into humans.
Two warts of the
MENDELSON CG, KLIGMAN AM. Isolation of Wart Virus in Tissue Culture: Successful Reinoculation into Humans. Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(4):559–562. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580100023003
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