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Volume 20, Number 5—May 2014


Etymologia: Papillomavirus

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EID Etymologia: Papillomavirus. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014;20(5):821.
AMA Etymologia: Papillomavirus. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2014;20(5):821. doi:10.3201/eid2005.et2005.
APA (2014). Etymologia: Papillomavirus. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 20(5), 821.

Papillomavirus [papʺĭ-loʹmə-viʺrəs]

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.



  1. 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.
  2. Shope  RE, Hurst  EW. Infectious papillomatosis of rabbits. J Exp Med. 1933;58:60724 . DOIPubMed
  3. zur Hausen  H, Gissman  L, Steiner  W, Dippold  W, Dreger  I. Human papilloma viruses and cancer. Bibl Haematol. 1975; (58):56971 .PubMed


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DOI: 10.3201/eid2005.et2005

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Table of Contents – Volume 20, Number 5—May 2014