Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Merkel cell polyomavirus and two previously unknown polyomaviruses are chronically shed from human skin [dataset]

David Wang
2010 F1000 - Post-publication peer review of the biomedical literature   unpublished
Mounting evidence supports the concept that Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) is a causal factor underlying most cases of a highly lethal form of skin cancer known as Merkel cell carcinoma. To explore the possibility that polyomaviruses commonly infect healthy human skin, we developed an improved rolling circle amplification (RCA) technique to isolate circular DNA viral genomes from skin swab specimens. Complete MCV genomes were recovered from 14/35 (40%) healthy adults, providing the first
more » ... ngth, apparently wild-type cloned genomes for this polyomavirus species. RCA analysis also revealed the existence of two previously unknown polyomavirus species that we name human polyomavirus-6 (HPyV6) and HPyV7. Biochemical experiments show that polyomavirus DNA is shed from the skin in the form of assembled virions. A pilot serological study indicates that infection or co-infection with the three skin-tropic polyomaviruses is very common. Thus, at least three polyomavirus species are constituents of the human skin microbiome.
doi:10.3410/f.3636969.3352072 fatcat:3psjc7fv3jhpfp52np3sytgphy