Human papillomaviruses are small, non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses of the papovavirus family. There are more than 100 types of HPV based on DNA homology, and at least 30 of them are transmitted by sexual contact. Approximately 15 types are strongly associated with cancer of the cervix and other cancers. The different papillomavirus types infect different kinds of epithelium. For example, HPVs that cause the common warts of the hands and plantar warts of the feet generally do not infect the genitalia. The HPVs that cause genital warts may infect the cervix, but they do not generally predispose to cancer. ■ DNA homology, p. 225
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