• AIDS;
  • cutaneous warts;
  • human immunodeficiency virus;
  • human papillomavirus;
  • polymerase chain reaction


Background  Cutaneous warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). To date, more than 120 different types of HPV are known, of which 80 have been completely characterized. Prevalence studies on types of HPV present in cutaneous warts have been carried out in immunocompetent individuals and immunosuppressed organ allograft recipients, but not in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients.

Objectives  To determine the HPV types present in cutaneous warts of HIV-infected patients.

Methods  Twenty-five biopsies of cutaneous warts from HIV-infected patients and 14 samples from control non-HIV-infected patients were studied. HPV detection was performed by polymerase chain reaction using two sets of primers: MY09/MY11 and RK91. The type of HPV was determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing of the amplified products.

Results  HPV DNA was detected in 64% of cutaneous warts from HIV-infected patients and in 79% of samples from the control group. The HPV types identified in HIV-infected patients were: HPV 2 (38%), 57 (31%), 27 (12%), 6 (12%) and 7 (6%). HPV 2/27/57 predominated in both groups, being present in 81% of lesions from HIV-infected patients and 82% of samples from non-HIV-infected patients. HPV 6, a genital HPV type rarely found in cutaneous lesions, was detected in two warts from HIV-infected patients and in one lesion of the immunocompetent group. HPV 7, characteristically associated with butcher's warts, and recently detected in oral and perioral lesions of HIV-infected patients, was found for the first time in a non-facial lesion of an HIV-infected patient.

Conclusions  This is the first study evaluating the prevalence of HPV types in cutaneous warts of HIV-infected patients and immunocompetent individuals in Brazil.