Papillomaviruses are small DNA viruses. Their capsid is 52 to 55 nm in diameter and contains a double stranded, circular DNA of aproximately 8 kilobasepairs in length. Papillomaviruses typically infect cells in the skin or the mucosa, and replication is tightly linked to the differentiation of the host cells. To accomplish their productive replicaton cycle, they alter the regulation of the cell cycle. Such alteration can lead to aberrant cell growth and in some cases to cancerous lesions. Therefore, papillomaviruses are related to benign and malignant lesions in humans and animals. We are particularly interested in the pathogenesis of animal papillomaviruses.
Cover Illustration: Electronmicrograph of papillomvirus particles