AIMS--A study of ophthalmic molluscum contagiosum infection was undertaken to define its clinical presentation and immunopathological features. METHODS--Retrospective analysis of 35 cases of histologically proved molluscum contagiosum infection was carried out. Diagnosis was delayed in 40% of cases resulting in repeated clinic visits. RESULTS--Twenty one patients were noted to have ocular surface changes; two patients were immunocompromised. All cases were eventually treated by excision of the lesion (19 had cautery to the lesion base) and there was recurrence in two cases. Immunohistochemical analysis of biopsy specimens showed that T lymphocytes were a consistent finding in adjacent dermis and epidermis although they did not infiltrate the molluscum lesions. Smaller numbers of macrophages were also demonstrated. There was a notable cross reactivity by a T cell antibody to the molluscum bodies. CONCLUSION--The study shows the varied presentation of molluscum contagiosum infection to the ophthalmologist and the nature of the local immune response to the virus.
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