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J Med Virol. 1990 Apr;30(4):245-8.

HIV antibodies in whole saliva detected by ELISA and western blot assays.

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Aurora Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


Paired serum and saliva samples were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot (WB) for the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibodies. The study group included 36 individuals known to be HIV seropositive and 14 healthy, seronegative controls. HIV antibodies were detected in all but one of the saliva samples of the seropositive subjects. In this particular patient, seroconversion was documented 1 week earlier by sequential testings. A further saliva sample obtained 2 months later was ELISA positive for salivary HIV antibodies. Antibodies against HIV proteins gp120 and gp160 were detected by Western blot assay in all saliva specimens taken from HIV seropositive subjects (including the ELISA-negative patient who seroconverted. Antibodies against other viral proteins (p65, p55, p51, gp41, p35, p24 p18) were found in saliva haphazardly without any clear-cut correlation with the clinical stage of the disease. Pretreatment of the saliva with protease inhibitor was essential for the diagnostic use of saliva for the detection of HIV antibodies by Western blot assay. Calculation of the ratio of titres in serum to those in saliva showed the highest ratios in symptomless subjects (mean +/- SD; 1844 +/- 1412) and the lowest in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (mean +/- SD; 811 +/- 445). The ratio of serum to saliva by ELISA showed a positive correlation with salivary flow rate, indicating a dilution of salivary HIV antibodies with increasing salivary flow rate. The gingival bleeding index was negatively correlated with the ratio, supporting the concept that salivary HIV antibodies transudate from blood to saliva via gingival fluid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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