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Cutavirus DNA in malignant and non-malignant skin of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and organ transplant patients but not of healthy adults.

Background: Three new parvoviruses of Protoparvovirus genus, bufavirus (BuV), tusavirus (TuV) and cutavirus (CuV), have recently been discovered in diarrheal stools. CuV was further detected in a proportion of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma/mycosis fungoides (CTCL/MF) skin samples and in one melanoma.

Patients and methods: With novel multiplex quantitative PCR (qPCR) and antibody assays, we studied three patient groups for BuV, TuV and CuV DNA and IgG: CTCL patients, immunosuppressed solid-organ transplant recipients, and immunocompetent healthy adults.

Results: CuV DNA was detected in skin biopsies of 4/25 (16.0%) CTCL and 4/136 (2.9%) transplant patients, but not in any of 159 skin samples of 98 healthy adults. The dermal CuV-DNA prevalence was significantly higher in CTCL patients than in the other subjects. CuV DNA was further detected in healthy skin of four organ transplant recipients, two of whom also had CuV-positive skin carcinomas. One CTCL patient harbored CuV DNA in both malignant (CTCL, melanoma) and non-malignant skin and sentinel lymph nodes, but not in his prostate. The CuV IgG seroprevalences were among CTCL patients 9.5% (4/42), transplant recipients 6.5% (8/124), and healthy adults 3.8% (3/78). BuV and TuV DNAs were absent and antibodies infrequent in all cohorts. Parvoviral antibodies were shown to persist for ≥20 years and dermal CuV DNA for four years. All three CuV-DNA-positive patients, with both biopsies and sera available, were CuV-IgG positive.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that dermal CuV DNA carriage is associated with CTCL. Any putative roles of CuV in the carcinogenesis must be determined in forthcoming studies.

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