Molluscum contagiosum virus

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Molluscum contagiosum virus
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EM of Molluscum contagiosum viruses
Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Family: Poxviridae
Genus: Molluscipoxvirus
Species: Molluscum contagiosum virus

The Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) is a species of virus in the poxvirus family, which causes the disease Molluscum contagiosum in humans. Virions have a complex structure and is consistent with the structure of the poxvirus family: a surface membrane, a core, and lateral bodies. Virus may be contained within inclusion bodies and mature by budding through the membrane of the host cell giving rise to a large amount of viral shedding in a short period of time. Approximate measurements of the virus are 200 nm in diameter, 320 nm in length and 100 nm in height.[1]

High magnification micrograph of molluscum contagiosum, showing the characteristic molluscum bodies which contain the virus. H&E stain.

Diagnosis is made on the clinical appearance; the virus cannot routinely be cultured. The diagnosis can be confirmed by excisional biopsy. There are 4 types of MCV, MCV-1 to -4. MCV-1 is the most prevalent in human infections, and MCV-2 seen usually in adults and often sexually transmitted.[2][3][4] Polymerase chain reaction techniques are being developed to help confirm lesions as being caused by MCV,[5] and distinguish between strains.[6][7]

Genome

The genome is a non-segmented single molecule of linear, double-stranded DNA of 180000–200000 nucleotides. It is covalently linked at both ends and contain redundant, repeating sequences at both ends. 160 putative genes have been identified.[8]

Animal viruses

A poxvirus causes a very similar disease in equids (horses and donkeys).[9][10][11] DNA studies suggest that this virus and the human virus are very closely related.[12]

Footnotes

  1. Büchen-Osmond, C. (Ed) (2003). 00.058.1.07.001. Molluscum contagiosum virus. In: ICTVdB - The Universal Virus Database, version 3. Büchen-Osmond, C. (Ed), ICTVdB Management, Columbia University, New York, USA
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  9. Van Rensburg IB, Collett MG, Ronen N, Gerdes T (1991) Molluscum contagiosum in a horse. J S Afr Vet Assoc 62(2):72-74
  10. Lange L, Marett S, Maree C, Gerdes T (1991) Molluscum contagiosum in three horses. J S Afr Vet Assoc 62(2):68-71
  11. Cooley AJ, Reinhard MK, Gross TL, Fadok VA, Levy M (1987) Molluscum contagiosum in a horse with granulomatous enteritis. J Comp Pathol 97(1):29-34
  12. Thompson CH, Yager JA, Van Rensburg IB (1998) Close relationship between equine and human molluscum contagiosum virus demonstrated by in situ hybridisation. Res Vet Sci 64(2):157-161

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