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October 1992

Molluscum Contagiosum and Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Author Affiliations

Dermatology Service Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 1275 York Ave New York, NY 10021

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(10):1407-1408. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680200119028

To the Editor.— The recent article in the Archives by Smith et al1 on molluscum contagiosum brings to light some interesting new information about a disease that is poorly understood and that has become one of the most common cutaneous manifestations of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1. However, the authors' statement that 90% of adults have antibodies to molluscum contagiosum, and their assumption that most individuals have had subclinical infection, is not supported by the literature.

To the Editor.— The reference provided2 does describe a number of interesting serologic studies in patients with molluscum contagiosum. In an early study3 testing for complement-fixing antibodies against molluscum contagiosum, three of 14 patients with the infection had positive results. In one patient, antibodies were induced by subcutaneous injection of a molluscum preparation. It was thought, at that time, that antibodies against molluscum contagiosum were produced in only a small proportion of