A total of 118 biopsies from skin lesions of 46 renal allograft patients was analyzed for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA by polymerase chain reaction with degenerate primers and also partially by subsequent sequencing of the amplified fragment. Sixty-two % of the benign proliferations (31 of 50) contained DNA of known HPV types as well as HPV sequences related to a number of epidermodysplasia verruciformis-associated HPV types. HPV DNA sequences were found in 14 (56%) of 25 biopsies from squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. One squamous cell carcinoma contained HPV 41 DNA. A novel 640-base pair fragment sharing homology with HPV 29 (82.7%) was found in 15% (3 of 20) of squamous cell carcinomas, in 9.4% (3 of 32) of dysplastic warts and in 8.5% (4 of 47) common warts. The remaining positive carcinoma biopsies contained HPV-related DNA in such a low copy number that additional analysis is required. The identification of new HPV types in skin cancers of immunosuppressed patients (other than epidermodysplasia verruciformis patients) further expands the spectrum of HPV-linked human malignancies and permits new approaches to study the pathogenesis of skin cancers.


This study was supported by the Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, Bonn.

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