Molluscum contagiosum virus: Persistence pays off

Crystal M H Randall, Joanna L. Shisler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The molluscum contagiosum (MC) virus (MCV) is a dermatotropic poxvirus, and the causative agent of MC. Unlike smallpox and human monkeypox diseases, MC is nonlethal, common and worldwide. Additionally, little inflammation is associated with MC papules, and MC can persist for months to years. Such a prolonged infection implies that MCV successfully manipulates the host environment. This review highlights recent findings that reveal how MCV infections manipulate localized host immune responses and which immune response are key for the eventual resolution of MC. Also highlighted here are the MCV proteins that inhibit apoptosis, inflammation and immune cell recruitment or that induce cellular proliferation, with discussion as to how these proteins dampen localized antiviral immune responses. Lastly, this review discusses how the immune evasion tactics of MCV have led to insights about specific functions of the human innate and adaptive immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-573
Number of pages13
JournalFuture Virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • FLIP
  • NF-κB
  • apoptosis
  • immune evasion
  • molluscum contagiosum
  • poxvirus
  • skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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