Your Risk for Genital Warts Just Went Up!

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genital warts

A study found that some virus-negative genital warts contained “previously unknown HPV types. – Virology (1)

How does one protect against HPV strains that are just now being discovered? New research has shown that at least 23 new types of HPV have been found in genital warts. (1) This is significant since according to WebMD, it was previously thought that although there are over 100 types of HPV that cause warts, only two strains, HPV 6 and 11 were thought to cause 90% of all genital wart cases. (2)

Importantly however, these new HPV types were found in warts (HPV-negative condylomas) that were originally thought to contain no virus at all! Yet, in fact, “a large proportion of ‘HPV-negative’ condylomas do contain viral sequences.” (1)

Besides DNA from several known HPV types, the study found “subgenomic fragments from novel putative types … SE87, SE92-SE107, SE109, SE110, SE113, SE114, and SE116. Their closest related established HPV-types, with the highest coverage in BLAST, were all from the Gammapapillomavirus genus.” (1)

different types of warts

With the discovery of these new HPV sub-types, many people may be at a much higher risk for contracting genital warts than previously thought.

The only protection that some doctors recommend is the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. However, the Gardasil website says that the HPV vaccine only protects against HPV strains 6, 11 (that previously were thought to cause 90% of all genital warts cases) and strains 16 and 18. (3) It does not protect against other strains which can cause genital warts, and with these new findings, it is clear that the vaccine is even more limited in the protection it offers. More to the point, however, the vaccine does nothing for those already infected with the HPV virus.

The bottom line?

Disease processes can occur even when it appears that no active virus is present. This is because the virus is in latent form.

Reference:

(1) Hanna Johansson, Davit Bzhalava, Johanna Ekströma, Emilie Hultin, Joakim Dillnera, Ola Forslunda “Metagenomic sequencing of ‘HPV-negative’ condylomas detects novel putative HPV types” – Virology – Volume 440, Issue 1, 25 May 2013, Pages 1–7

(2) WebMD – HPV/Genital Warts Health Center – Information About the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on January 14, 2015

 

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