The Molluscum contagiosum virus
is a species of virus in the poxvirus
family, which causes the disease Molluscum contagiosum
in humans. Virions have a complex structure and is consistent with the structure of the poxvirus family: an envelope, surface membrane, core, and lateral bodies. Virus may be contained within inclusion bodies and mature by budding through the membrane of the host cell giving rise to a large amount of viral shedding
in a short period of time. Approximate measurements of the virus are 200 nm
in diameter, 320 nm in length and 100 nm in height.
There are 4 types of MCV, MCV-1 to -4. MCV-1 is the most prevalent in human infections, and MCV-2 seen usually in adults and often sexually transmitted. Polymerase chain reaction techniques are being developed to help confirm lesions as being caused by MCV, and distinguish between strains.
The genome is a non-segmented single molecule of linear, double-stranded DNA
of 180000–200000 nucleotides
. It is covalently
linked at both ends and contain redundant, repeating sequences at both ends. 160 pudative genes have been identified.