Oral ulcers in AIDS patients frequently associated with cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections.J Oral Pathol Med. 1999 May; 28(5):204-9.JO
Oral ulcers are common in AIDS patients, with a wide spectrum of underlying causes, including different viruses. In the present study, the presence of cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) DNA was analysed in 21 biopsies from oral ulcers of 17 male homosexual AIDS patients. The methods used were in situ hybridization (ISH) and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with subsequent non-radioactive Southern blot hybridization to confirm the specificity of PCR products. With ISH, 4 biopsies were CMV DNA-positive and 11 contained EBV-DNA. Using PCR, an additional 4 CMV- and 7 EBV-positive samples were detected, and HHV-8 DNA was present in three oral ulcers. Six of the patients (35%) had oral ulcers co-infected by two or three viruses. The overall figures for patients with the detectable EBV-, CMV-, and HHV-8 DNA were 82% (14/17), 35% (6/17) and 18% (3/17), respectively. This is the first study to show the frequent presence of EBV-DNA in oral ulcers of AIDS patients. Because ISH-positivity signifies active virus replication, these results implicate an etiological role of EBV in AIDS-associated oral ulcers. The causal role of HHV-8 has to be considered as well, because this virus was detected in three such ulcers, which were not associated with Kaposi's sarcoma. To conclude, three common members of the herpesvirus family (CMV, EBV, HHV-8) were detected in all but three ulcers in AIDS patients, warranting the inclusion of these viral analyses in the diagnosis of ulcerative lesions of the oral mucosa in all immunosuppressed individuals.