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Keywords:

  • common warts;
  • intralesional immunotherapy;
  • MMR vaccine

Abstract

Background  Despite numerous therapeutic modalities reported in the literature, treatment of common warts remains a continuing challenge and there is no universal consensus about optimal treatment. Recently, intralesional immunotherapy by different antigens has proved efficacy in the treatment of different types of warts.

Objective  To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intralesional mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the treatment of common warts.

Methods  The study included 135 patients with single or multiple recalcitrant or non-recalcitrant common warts. They were randomly assigned to two groups; the first group (85 patients) received intralesional MMR vaccine, and the second group (50 patients) received intralesional saline as a control group. Both treatments were injected into single lesions or largest wart in case of multiple lesions at 2-week intervals until complete clearance or for a maximum of five treatments. Follow-up was made every 2 months for 6 months to detect any recurrence.

Results  A highly significant difference was found between the therapeutic response of common warts to MMR vaccine and saline control group (P < 0.001). In the MMR group, complete response was achieved in 80% and 84.6% of patients presenting with recalcitrant and multiple warts respectively. No recurrence was observed in the MMR group and side effects included pain during injection and flu-like symptoms.

Conclusions  Intralesional immunotherapy by MMR vaccine is a promising effective and safe treatment modality for common warts, particularly the multiple ones.