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Transplant Proc. 2011 Mar;43(2):540-2. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2011.01.004.

Evaluation of Epstein-Barr virus load in saliva before and after renal transplantation.

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Urology Research Center, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) arising in solid organ transplant patients show a strong correlation with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. The aim of our study was to evaluate the frequency of EBV DNA levels before and after transplantation among saliva samples of Iranian kidney transplant patients.


In 40 kidney transplant recipients and their healthy donors, we evaluated the EBV DNA levels in saliva samples by quantitative polymerase chain reaction method using samples obtained 1 hour before transplantation surgery. In addition, 3 months after transplantation we evaluated EBV DNA levels in recipients for comparison with preoperative levels. Exclusion criteria included hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human T-cell leukemia virus infections before transplantation as well as HIV-positive patients under highly active antiretroviral therapy, graft rejection requiring dialysis and active viral infection of oral cavity.


Before renal transplantation, there was no significant difference in saliva EBV DNA levels between kidney donor and recipient patients (P=.8). The levels increased significantly to 67.6% in the recipient group after transplantation (P=.01).


We observed that EBV was more frequently present in the oral mucosa after renal transplantation. Thus, we can follow these patients for EBV infection using saliva examinations as a simple screening method.

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