What are human papillomaviruses (HPV)?

Human papillomaviruses are a group of viruses that may evoke warts. All these HPV types differ genetically, and they can infect the skin or mucosal tissue, not only but preferentially in the anogenital region. HPV infections are always locally restricted and do not spread to more distant parts/organs of the body.

Of the more than 150 types of HPV, a small group, the so-called high-risk human papillomaviruses (hr-HPV), may cause precancerous lesions and, if not diagnosed and treated early, cancer (e. g. cervical cancer, tonsillar cancer).