Detection of HCV-RNA in saliva of HIV-HCV coinfected patients
The presence of HCV-RNA in saliva of patients with chronic hepatitis C provides a biological basis for the potential transmission of this virus. HCV viremia is particularly high in HCV-HIV-coinfected patients, which could favor the presence of HCV in their saliva. This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence of HCV in saliva of HCV-HIV-coinfected patients. Stimulated whole saliva was collected from 75 HCV-HIV-coinfected patients and 75 HCV controls. The presence of HCV-RNA in saliva was tested by a highly sensitive noncommercialized nested PCR, and analyzed in relation to demographic, clinical, and analytical variables. HCVRNA was detected in the saliva of 49 (65%) HCV-HIV-coinfected patients and 39 (52%) HCV controls. The presence of HCV in saliva was not related to any of the analyzed variables in HCV-HIV-coinfected patients. In the HCV control group a statistically significant relationship was demonstrated only between the detection of HCV-RNA in saliva and the viral load in peripheral blood (p < 0.001). Our results indicate that there is a trend toward a higher HCV-RNA prevalence in the saliva of HCV-HIV-coinfected patients.