The susceptibility of human papillomavirus infection to polyclonal human leukocyte interferon (IFN-α) has been evaluated in patients with epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), a disease with extensive chronic papillomavirus-induced warts. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with intralesional IFN-α, four of five IFN-α-treated warts regressed; none of the placebo-treated warts responded (p = 0.024). Three patients with EV were treated with systemic IFN-α for 4 weeks in an open study, achieving partial regression of warts in all three. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, warts in two children with EV regressed with systemic IFN-α while two who received placebo showed no improvement. The lesions recurred following cessation of Therapy. At the completion of therapy with IFN-α, histologic normalization was accompanied by a 95% decrease in the number of viral antigen-containing cells in the warts (p < 0.001). We conclude that warts in EV respond to systemic and intralesional IFN-α.
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