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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2007 Oct;22(5):320-5.

Herpesviruses in asymptomatic apical periodontitis lesions: an immunohistochemical approach.

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1
Institute of Microbiology Prof Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have been recently detected in samples from apical periodontitis lesions by means of molecular biology techniques and a role in the pathogenesis of this disease has been suggested. The present study was designed to survey asymptomatic primary apical periodontitis lesions for the presence of HCMV- and/or EBV-infected cells by means of immunohistochemistry.

METHODS:

Apical periodontitis lesions were obtained from 35 patients [26 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -seronegative patients and nine HIV-seropositive patients] after tooth extraction and subjected to immunohistochemical analysis using monoclonal antibodies specific for HCMV and EBV.

RESULTS:

Fifteen of the 35 apical periodontitis lesions were positive for the target herpesviruses. Overall, EBV was found in 31% of the samples and HCMV in 23%, with 14% of the lesions showing EBV and HCMV dual infection. No association was found between HCMV or EBV with any particular histopathological type of apical periodontitis (P > 0.05). HCMV was significantly more frequent in apical periodontitis lesions from HIV-positive patients (67%) than in lesions from HIV-negative patients (8%) (P = 0.001). EBV was detected in 44% of lesions from HIV-positive patients and in 27% of lesions from HIV-negative patients, but this difference was not significant (P = 0.91).

CONCLUSION:

Our results showed that cells infected by HCMV and EBV can be found in apical periodontitis lesions, with a higher prevalence in HIV-positive patients. The specific role that these viruses play in the pathogenesis of apical periodontitis remains to be described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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