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Correlation between salivary anti-HCV antibodies and HCV RNA in saliva and salivary glands of patients with chronic hepatitis C

Authors


Correspondence: Maria Auxiliadora Vieira do Carmo, Faculdade de Odontologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, sala 3201, Av. Antônio Carlos, 6667, Pampulha, CEP 31.270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil. Tel: +55 31 34092476, Fax: +55 31 34092472, E-mail: dorinhavc@gmail.com

Abstract

Background

To investigate the correlation between anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies in saliva and detection of HCV RNA in saliva and salivary glands of patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Methods

A total of 180 samples of saliva (131 non-stimulated and 49 stimulated) from 133 patients with chronic hepatitis C were tested by ELISA for presence of anti-HCV antibodies. Results were compared with the detection of HCV RNA in saliva and salivary glands samples. Pearson's chi-squared and Fisher's exact tests were performed for statistical analysis.

Results

Anti-HCV antibodies could be detected in 47/180 (26.1%) saliva samples. In 11/47 (23.5%) of these, HCV RNA was also detected. From the 133/180 (73.9%) saliva samples with undetectable anti-HCV antibodies, 49/133 (36.8%) were positive for HCV RNA at least in one saliva sample. From the 64 patients from whom salivary gland samples were available, 17/64 (26.6%) had detectable anti-HCV antibodies in saliva, from which 2/17 (11.8%) also had HCV RNA in the salivary gland. From the 47/64 (73.4%) cases negative for anti-HCV antibodies in saliva, 10/47 (21.3%) were positive for HCV RNA in salivary gland.

Conclusions

Taken together, our results suggest that there is no correlation between the presence of anti-HCV antibodies in saliva and the detection of HCV RNA in saliva and salivary glands in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Nevertheless, as there was a statistically significant difference between detection of anti-HCV antibodies and HCV RNA in stimulated saliva, our study points toward the need for new research on mechanisms of HCV shedding in saliva.

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