Continuing our discussion of sexually transmitted infections,
we turn now to genital warts.
This is a predominantly sexually transmitted cutaneous infection
of stratified squamous epithelium
in the genital areas due to any of several strains of a virus
called human papilloma virus.
This is a pretty severe problem,
especially because we don’t have any real good therapy for it
and it results in several million genital HPV infections a year.
The most common age group infected are those in the sexually active years
between 15 and 44.
We’re talking about 20 million in the United States infected,
and this is a very contagious type of viral infection.
The prevalence of anogenital warts is called condyloma acuminata,
to be distinguished from condylomalata.
In the general population, it’s 0.2 to 5 percent.
Among males 18 to 59, about 4 percent.
In females, 7.2 percent.
And the disease is increasing in incidence.
Approximately 500,000 persons a year are infected by this problem.
The virus that causes human papilloma virus infection
belongs to the Papillomaviridae family.
It is widely distributed in higher vertebrates,
and it’s a non-envelope double-stranded DNA virus.
It’s got a pretty simple circular genome about 8 kB in length,
55 nanometers in diameter,
and it’s dependent on the host cell for replication, transcription, and translation.
Now, you may have heard of the association of human papilloma virus
and cervical carcinoma,
and that is indeed a bad problem.
We’ve developed a vaccine for that problem.
But the types that cause these genital warts
are the low-risk HPV types 6, 11, and 42 through 44.
These are the ones that cause the warts.
This virus has a tropism for squamous epithelium
and it is the cause of warts and genital warts.