Retinol‐binding protein a promising biomarker for recalcitrant warts
Low serum retinol-binding protein (RBP) represents a relatively cheap and reliable biomarker for recalcitrant cutaneous warts, a study suggests.
Researchers evaluated serum RBP level via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 50 patients with recalcitrant cutaneous warts (mean age, 28.3 years; 42 percent male; mean disease duration, 16.5 months) and 30 apparently healthy controls (mean age, 27.1 years; 36.7 percent male). Among patients with warts, 38 (76 percent) had a progressive course of the disease. The size of warts was <1 cm in 17 patients (34 percent) and ≥1 cm in 33 (66 percent).
A total of 30 patients (60 percent) had multiple warts, and the most frequent types observed were plantar (48 percent) and common (46 percent) warts.
Compared with controls, warts patients had significantly lower serum RBP levels (p<0.001). However, serum RBP concentration did not differ by clinical parameters in the group of patients with warts (p>0.05 for all).
Receiver operating curve analysis showed that serum RBP at a cutoff value ≤1,034.6 lg/ml differentiated patients with recalcitrant warts from healthy controls with 100 percent sensitivity and specificity (p<0.001).
The findings suggest that low serum RBP levels may serve as a reliable indicator of vitamin A (retinol) deficiency, which could explain the persistence of the cutaneous warts in the studied patients, according to the researchers.
Given that cutaneous viral warts are benign epidermal proliferations caused by human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the current data hold promise for opening a new avenue for preventive and/or therapeutic strategies in the field of HPV infection, they added.