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J Med Virol. 2013 Nov;85(11):2016-9. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23687. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Detection of Merkel cell polyomavirus in oral samples of renal transplant recipients without Merkel cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Fluminense Federal University, RJ, Brazil.


Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare but aggressive neuroendocrine cancer, with approximately 80% of cases associated with Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV). The lack of information concerning its occurrence in non-MCC immunosuppressed populations led to the investigation of MCPyV DNA in saliva and oral biopsies from 60 kidney allograft recipients and 75 non-transplanted individuals (control group). In contrast to herpesviruses, which was also investigated (CMV, HHV-6A, and B, HHV-7) MCPyV was detected predominantly in patients with oral lesions (gingivitis and/or periodontitis) of both transplanted and non-transplanted groups (P=0.016) and in the saliva of the transplanted group (P=0.009). MCPyV co-detection with CMV (P=0.048), and HHV-6 (P=0.020) in the saliva of transplanted patients requires further investigation on a possible role of co-infection.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Merkel cell polyomavirus; kidney transplantation; oral cavity

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