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November 1962

Studies on Molluscum Contagiosum: Observations on the Cytopathic Effect of Molluscum Suspensions in Vitro

Author Affiliations


Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(5):720-725. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620230166022

The lesion of molluscum contagiosum, like that of the common wart, is a chronic, proliferative process, restricted to the skin epithelium, which presents certain similarities to a localized neoplasm. Considerable information, comprehensively reviewed by Nasemann1 and others,2 exists concerning clinical features, epidemiology, and pathologic aspects of the disease. Evidence for a viral etiology of molluscum contagiosum is based on the successful transmission of infection to man via injected filtrates and on the characteristic pathology of the lesion, namely, the presence of large inclusions or molluscum bodies which contain distinctive elementary bodies when viewed by electron microscopy.3 Final proof of the nature of the etiologic agent, in a manner allowing propagation of the responsible virus in a reproducible and practical fashion, has not yet been established.

Several recent reports have implied the successful in vitro growth of molluscum contagiosum virus in cell cultures. Dourmashkin and Febvre4 presented

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