Detection of hepatitis C virus RNA from gingival crevicular fluid and its relation to virus presence in saliva.

Department of Infectious Diseases, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Journal of Periodontology (Impact Factor: 2.57). 02/2001; 72(1):11-6. DOI: 10.1902/jop.2001.72.1.11
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To search for a possible source of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in saliva, the presence and shedding patterns of HCV in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and saliva of HCV viremic patients were assessed based on clinical, biochemical, histological, virological, and oral health parameters.
Saliva and GCF samples of 50 HCV viremic patients were collected to detect HCV RNA by a modified commercial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Clinical oral examination was performed and periodontal status at the collection sites was monitored. The results were correlated to specified parameters.
HCV RNA was detected in 59% (29/49) of the GCF specimens and in 35% (17/48) of the saliva specimens. In saliva specimens, HCV RNA was detected only in cases which also had detectable HCV RNA in the GCF samples (P=0.00002) and was significantly related to the presence of blood in saliva (P=0.03). Higher, but not significant, values of oral clinical parameters at the sites of fluid collection were found in GCF specimens harboring HCV RNA. In GCF specimens with no blood detected, HCV RNA was more often present in cases with higher plasma viral load (P=0.05).
The results suggest that besides blood, the other most probable source of HCV in saliva is GCF. Unknown endogenous HCV inhibitory mechanisms in the oral cavity may explain the discrepancies in HCV appearance between saliva and GCF. The results provide a biologic basis for further investigation of the role of HCV in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease.

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