Volume 20, Number 5—May 2014
From the Latin papillo- (“nipple”) + oma (“tumor”), papillomaviruses are nonenveloped DNA viruses that induce exophytic lesions of the skin and mucous membranes. The first animal papillomavirus was described in 1933 by Richard Shope, who researched papillomata in “warty” wild cottontail rabbits. In 1975, Harald zur Hausen published the hypothesis that the human papillomavirus played a role in the etiology of cervical cancer, work for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.
- Howley PM, Schiller JT, Lowy DR. Papillomaviruses. In: Knipe DM, Howley PM, editors. Fields virology. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2013. p. 1662–703.
- Shope RE, Hurst EW. Infectious papillomatosis of rabbits. J Exp Med. 1933;58:607–24 .
- zur Hausen H, Gissman L, Steiner W, Dippold W, Dreger I. Human papilloma viruses and cancer. Bibl Haematol. 1975; (
Suggested citation for this article: Etymologia: Papillomavirus. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2014 May [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2005.ET2005
Comments to the EID Editors
Please contact the EID Editors via our Contact Form.
- Page created: April 16, 2014
- Page last updated: April 16, 2014
- Page last reviewed: April 16, 2014
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Office of the Director (OD)