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Animal and human papillomaviruses (HPVs) replicate persistently in specific types of stratified epithelia of their host. After the initial infection, the viral genome replicates at low levels in the dividing cells of the epithelium, and these cells form a reservoir of infection that can last for decades. When the infected cells differentiate, viral genomes replicate to high levels to form progeny virus that is released from the surface of the epithelium. This complex life cycle requires several different modes of viral DNA replication, but papillomaviruses are masters at hijacking key cellular processes to facilitate their own reproduction.