What is the global prevalence of molluscum contagiosum infection?

Updated: Aug 09, 2018
  • Author: Ashish C Bhatia, MD, FAAD, FACMS; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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The molluscum contagiosum virus occurs throughout the world, and its incidence in most areas is not reliably known. It is more prevalent in tropical areas. In Mali, molluscum contagiosum is among the most frequent dermatoses in children, with an incidence of 3.6%. [9] In Australia, an overall seropositivity rate of 23% is reported. [10] The lowest antibody prevalence was in children aged 6 months to 2 years (3%), and seropositivity increased with age to reach 39% in persons aged 50 years or older.

Childhood molluscum contagiosum is common in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and certain parts of Africa. During a regional outbreak in East Africa, it was estimated that 17% of the village population and as many as 52% of children older than age 2 years developed lesions. Epidemiologic studies suggest that transmission may be related to poor hygiene and climatic factors such as warmth and humidity.

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