A human papillomavirus (HPV) was cloned from a patient with multiple squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and identified as HPV88, recently categorized into a new species within the genus Gamma. The HPV88 viral load in an SCC of the index patient exceeded 1 million copies/cell. By contrast, a survey of 447 skin lesions (79 actinic keratoses, 73 seborrhoeic keratoses, 169 basal cell carcinomas and 126 SCCs) and 362 healthy skin biopsies found detectable HPV88 DNA in only 7 specimens. All these had very low viral loads (<1 copy/10(3) cells) implying extreme biological variability in viral load.
Copyright 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.