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Light micrograph of a vaginal smear showing epithelial squamous cells infected with a virus causing genital warts, the human papilloma virus (HPV). The presence of genital warts growing on the epithelium of the vagina and cervix (known as condylomata) has been linked with the development of the dysplastic changes in the vaginal & cervical epithelia that may lead to malignant disease. It has been suggested that some cases of mild dysplasia (cellular changes in the layers of epithelium) may be due to acute viral infections caused by HPV - this may explain why some cases of mild dysplasia revert to normal epithelium. Magnification: X 160 at 35mm size.
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