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Salivary HCV-Antibodies; a Follow-up Cohort Study of Liver Disease Patients by Salem Elsana, Emanuel Sikuler, Arieh Yaari, Yonat Shemer-Avni and Miriam Margalith

We have recently shown in Liver Clinic patients that saliva instead of serum may be used for anti-HCV detection. As compared to blood withdrawing, saliva is easier to obtain, non invasive, especially for infants. In the present study, sequential determination of serum and salivary anti-HCV was performed in the same cohort for 36 months. Anti-HCV seropositive and seronegative patients were studied. Blood and saliva samples were obtained simultaneously. From the anti-HCV seronegative patients (n = 33), 161 sequential serum and 161 matched saliva samples were obtained. All were anti-HCV negative. From the anti-HCV seropositíve patients (n = 35), 131 sequential serum and 131 matched saliva samples were obtained. All sequential serum samples were anti-HCV positive. Of the saliva samples 126 (96%) were anti-HCV positive and five (4%) were anti-HCV negative. These fìve samples were obtained from two patients with autoimmune hepatitis and HCV-RNA seronegative by PCR. The results suggest that saliva may serve as a substitute for serum for the detection of anti-HCV antibodies.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 2001;47:335-338