A papillomavirus antigen has been identified in tissue sections of laryngeal papillomata removed at endoscopic operations. The demonstration of the papillomavirus antigen was achieved using the peroxidase-anti-peroxidase test of Sternberger after a broadly cross-reactive rabbit antiserum to the papillomavirus capsid antigen was incubated with the tissue sections. The antigen was detected in specimens from 7 of 15 patients with juvenile-onset laryngeal papillomas, but could not be demonstrated in the specimens from 6 patients with adult-onset papillomas. In all, 73 biopsy specimens from 21 patients were selected for study; 18%(11/61) of the sections from the juvenile-onset patients and 0%(0/12) of the sections from the adult-onset patient specimens exhibited the papillomavirus antigen.The presence of the virus antigen did not correlate with the stage of disease, nor with the duration or severity of the illness. The implications of the findings are discussed.
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