HPV infections are associated with many proliferative lesions of cutaneous and mucosal squamous epithelium. PV genus-specific (common) antigens can be detected by immunocytochemical techniques in approximately 50% of lesions (warts and papillomas) without dysplastic changes. Dysplastic lesions of squamous epithelium are less likely to be permissive for viral expression: squamous neoplasias are rarely, if ever, productively infected. Almost any tissue that has been processed for pathology or exfoliative cytologie preparations can be reliably stained for the presence of papillomavirus common antigens. A positive staining reaction is interpreted as meaning that the lesion is associated with HPV infection and that it has a potential for being contagious.
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