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January 1944


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, State University of Iowa, College of Medicine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1944;31(1):64-67. doi:10.1001/archopht.1944.00890010082008

Molluscum contagiosum is an infectious disease of the skin characterized by the formation of multiple, small, discrete, umbilicated epithelial nodules. These nodules, appearing most commonly on the face and hands of young persons, are usually circular, average 2 mm. in diameter and are covered with normal epithelium. In the center of the characteristic umbilication is an orifice from which a cheesy mass consisting of ovoid cells, termed molluscum bodies, can be expressed. Microscopically these bodies are composed of swollen and vacuolated epithelial cells having an atrophic nucleus which has been pushed to one side by an acidophilic cytoplasmic inclusion body. These inclusions are composed of minute elementary bodies, first described by Lipschütz,1 and are thought by some investigators to be the causative virus. The virus origin of molluscum contagiosum was established in 1905 by Juliusberg,2 who demonstrated that the disease was transmissible from person to person by material

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