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High Levels of Epstein-Barr Virus DNA in Saliva and Peripheral Blood from Ugandan Mother-Child Pairs

Sam M. Mbulaiteye, Michael Walters, Eric A. Engels, Paul M. Bakaki, Christopher M. Ndugwa, Anchilla M. Owor, James J. Goedert, Denise Whitby and Robert J. Biggar
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 193, No. 3 (Feb. 1, 2006), pp. 422-426
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30087585
Page Count: 5
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High Levels of Epstein-Barr Virus DNA in Saliva and Peripheral Blood from Ugandan Mother-Child Pairs
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Abstract

In Africa, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with Burkitt lymphoma. We measured levels of EBV DNA in saliva and huffy coats from 233 asymptomatic Ugandan children with sickle cell disease and their mothers by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. EBV DNA was detected in saliva from 90% of the children (median [interquartile range {IQR}] level, 5.2 [4.2-6.0] $log_10$ copies/mL of saliva) and 79% of the mothers (median [IQR] level, 4.8 [3.7-5.6] log10 copies/mL of saliva) P<.001). EBV DNA was detected in huffy coats from 86% of the children (median [IQR] level, 2.5 [2.2-2.9] log10 copies/1 X $10^6$ peripheral white blood cells [PWBCs]) and 72% of the mothers (median [IQR] level, 2.7 [2.4-3.1] $log_10$ copies/1 X $10^6$ PWBCs) (P = .24). Detection of EBV DNA in saliva was positively correlated with detection in huffy coats. EBV DNA was detected more frequently in saliva and huffy coats than was human herpesvirus 8 DNA. Our results indicate that EBV infection persists, with virus readily detectable in saliva and huffy coats from persons without apparent symptoms in Africa.

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