A non‐invasive method for diagnosing plantar warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV)

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The methods that are used for the diagnostic confirmation of human papillomavirus (HPV) include excisional biopsy and histopathological studies or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). They are invasive, laborious, and subject to ethical restrictions due to the benign nature of these warts. This study aims to analyse the accuracy of noninvasive swab samples to diagnose plantar warts. Fifty plantar warts were included in the study. Skin swabs and hyperkeratosis skin scales were collected from each wart. Multiplex PCR was performed to detect and type the HPVs. The prevalence of HPV in this study was 90% when the sample was obtained using the wart scraping method and 94% when it was obtained using swabs and the new method. In 45 of the 45 positive samples (sensitivity: 100%), the result between the wart scab and wart swab were almost identical. The genotyping result was identical in all 46 patients who had a positive result using both methods. The swab method appears to be a simple and accurate technique to diagnose plantar warts due to HPV. It is a noninvasive technique that could be performed even by inexperienced professionals and in patients with pain or a fear of needles.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2021)