Molluscum Contagiosum

Genome: DNA Virus, dsDNA Virus Structure: Enveloped Virus
  • Molluscum Contagiosum is transmitted by close cutaneous contact and is consequently found frequently in children. Molluscum contagiosum can also be spread via sexual transmission and its occurrence on the genital skin of sexually active young adults is increasing. Because cell-mediated immunity is likely important for protection, the incidence and severity of infection is increased in AIDS Patients.
Clinical Consequences
  • Infection manifests as small, pearly papules on the skin with a roughly 1-3mm diameter that characteristically possess a central dimple. These lesions probably represent small, viral-induced tumors of the skin. Because inoculation with the virus is enhanced by small breaks in the skin, lesions are often found in the linear shape of scratches. The disease is self-limited and untreated lesions usually disappear within 1-2 years; however, immunity is not protective and individuals can be re-inoculated.