In the early 20th century (1919)  two American dermatologists* sought to determine the origin of warts and molluscum contagiosum:

    • -To do this they curetted tissue from the 2 lesions and added saline.  after “mincing them”, they passed it through a filter to remove all bacteria (Berkefeld filter)
    • -They then auto-inoculated themselves and volunteers with the filtered lesions
    • -The lesions reappeared !…and were biopsy confirmed.



This refuted earlier theories that the lesions were bacterial in origin.

It is also known that the younger author did most of the work and that’s kind of unsurprising, isn’t it !



It is now widely known that both lesions are viral in origin:

    • -Warts are caused by viruses of the Human Papilloma Type (HPV)
    • -Molluscum Contagiosum is due to a DNA Poxvirus



*Dr Udo J. Wile (1882-1965) and Dr Lyle B. Kingery (1892-1972)

Source of information: Crissey JT el al. Dermatology and Dermatologists (2002). Parthenon Publishing