Detection of hepatitis B viral markers in saliva and serum chronic carriers in Erbil governorate


Introduction: Hepatitis B virus is a serious public health problem worldwide and major cause of acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The high resistance of HBV to inactivation and its high concentration in blood and other body fluids such as saliva, semen, vaginal secretion, breast milk and tears accounts for its high infectivity. It has been estimated that dental practitioners are three to five times at a higher risk than the general population through the exposure to the oral secretions and blood of potentially infectious patients. Aims of the Study: The overall aim of this study is to investigate the infectivity of saliva of chronic HBV carriers through detection of HBV antigens and their corresponding antibodies and HBV DNA. Materials and Methods: Serum and saliva samples from 65 confirmed chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers were examined for the presence of HBV markers using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results:Out of the 65 chronic HBV carriers, 17(26%) were seropositive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg+) and 48(74%) were seronegative for HBeAg and seropositive for antibody to HBeAg (HBeAg−/anti-HBe+). The detection rates of saliva for HBsAg, anti-HBc, HBeAg and anti-HBe were 55%, 65%, 53% and 100%, respectively, to that of serum. The detection rates of HBV DNA for serum and saliva were 90% and 60%, respectively. Conclusions: Based on these results we have arrived at the conclusion that saliva of these carriers might be potentially infectious