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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-13

Immunotherapy of viral warts: myth and reality

1 Department of Dermatology, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Dermatology, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
3 Department of Dermatology, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed El-Khalawany
Department of Dermatology, Al-Azhar University, PO Box 32515, Al-Darasah, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-6530.162451

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Immunotherapy has become one of the most important therapeutic tools for the treatment of warts. At present, immunotherapy for warts is usually limited to recalcitrant lesions that are not responding to conventional therapy. Although there are a lot of immunotherapeutic regimens, a minority seem to be really effective. Moreover, there is a lack of evidence-based data on their effectiveness. Common immunotherapeutic modalities used for the treatment of warts include contact sensitizers, imiquimod, intralesional interferon, and oral drugs such as levamisole, cimetidine, and zinc sulfate. Intralesional antigens such as MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, skin test antigens (mumps, Candida, and Trichophyton), BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guιrin) vaccine, and Candida antigen were reported as successful treatment modalities in various forms of warts. Moreover, intradermal injection of some vaccines such as purified protein derivatives was also reported as a successful regimen for the treatment of genital warts. Among the available options for treatment of warts, none is uniformly effective or viricidal. Moreover, in most cases their safety and efficacy has not been assessed in double-blind, controlled clinical trials, and thus the reproducibility of many of the listed treatments is difficult to evaluate and a possible placebo effect cannot be ruled out. In this report, the various forms of immunotherapy for warts are discussed and each regimen is evaluated in order to assess the efficacy of each form of treatment.

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