Saliva and viral infections

Periodontol 2000. 2016 Feb;70(1):93-110. doi: 10.1111/prd.12112.


Over the last 10 years there have been only a handful of publications dealing with the oral virome, which is in contrast to the oral microbiome, an area that has seen considerable interest. Here, we survey viral infections in general and then focus on those viruses that are found in and/or are transmitted via the oral cavity; norovirus, rabies, human papillomavirus, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex viruses, hepatitis C virus, and HIV. Increasingly, viral infections have been diagnosed using an oral sample (e.g. saliva mucosal transudate or an oral swab) instead of blood or urine. The results of two studies using a rapid and semi-quantitative lateral flow assay format demonstrating the correlation of HIV anti-IgG/sIgA detection with saliva and serum samples are presented. When immediate detection of infection is important, point-of-care devices that obtain a non-invasive sample from the oral cavity can be used to provide a first line diagnosis to assist in determining appropriate counselling and therapeutic path for an increasing number of diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mouth / immunology
  • Mouth / metabolism
  • Mouth / virology
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Saliva / virology*
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / virology*