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Life Cycle of Human Papillomavirus

Genital HPV types infect the squamous epithelial skin cells lining the lower genital tract and mouth. Most infections resolve and do not cause lesions. Some infections do cause lesions as the HPV DNA replicates in lower layers of the squamous epithelial cells. Most often the body's immune system clears these lesions before they become malignant.
(See the following Figure, Life Cycle of Human Papillomavirus Infection).