Mankind has been plagued by warts for centuries, as evidenced by the early writings of the Roman physician Celsus who, in 25 AD,1 coined the terms "myrmecia" (anthill) to depict the subterranean, cavernous plantar wart, "ficus" (fig) to depict genital warts, and "thymion" (thyme plant) to depict common warts. It was suggested as early as the Greco-Roman times that anogenital warts were venereally spread. The contagiousness of warts was further supported by the recorded observations of physicians in the 18th and 19th centuries (who were unfortunate enough to have warts develop on their own hands following manipulation of patients' warts) and the writings of experimentalists who successfully inoculated themselves or others with wart extracts.2 Ciuffo3 in 1907, first demonstrated that warts were probably caused by a virus when he successfully produced warts on his own hands by inoculating himself with a "sterile" wart extract. This extract had
Lutzner MA. The Human Papillomaviruses: A Review. Arch Dermatol. 1983;119(8):631–635. doi:10.1001/archderm.1983.01650320005006
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