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Pediatric epstein-barr virus carriers with or without tonsillar enlargement may substantially contribute to spreading of the virus


Hug, M; Dorner, M; Fröhlich, F Z; Gysin, C; Neuhaus, D; Nadal, D; Berger, C (2010). Pediatric epstein-barr virus carriers with or without tonsillar enlargement may substantially contribute to spreading of the virus. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 202(8):1192-1199.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Human-to-human transmission of the persistent infection establishing Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) occurs via saliva. Tonsils act as important portal of entry and exit of EBV. The contagiousness of pediatric EBV carriers and the role played by tonsillar enlargement (TE) are not known. METHODS: We compared EBV shedding in mouthwash samples from pediatric EBV carriers with or without TE to that in mouthwash samples from pediatric patients with infectious mononucleosis (IM), the symptomatic form of primary infection if delayed after the age of 5 years. EBV DNA was quantified by polymerase chain reaction, and contagiousness was assessed using the cord lymphocyte transformation assay. RESULTS: EBV carriers with TE shed EBV DNA at an almost similar frequency (although in lower amounts) as pediatric patients with acute IM but more frequently (P <.001) and in higher amounts (P = .038) than EBV carriers without TE. EBV DNA levels in mouthwash samples from EBV carriers with TE mirrored levels in tonsils and gradually declined after tonsillectomy. Almost half of the mouthwash samples from pediatric EBV carriers contained infectious EBV. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric EBV carriers--in particular, those with TE-may considerably contribute to the spreading of EBV in industrialized countries.

BACKGROUND: Human-to-human transmission of the persistent infection establishing Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) occurs via saliva. Tonsils act as important portal of entry and exit of EBV. The contagiousness of pediatric EBV carriers and the role played by tonsillar enlargement (TE) are not known. METHODS: We compared EBV shedding in mouthwash samples from pediatric EBV carriers with or without TE to that in mouthwash samples from pediatric patients with infectious mononucleosis (IM), the symptomatic form of primary infection if delayed after the age of 5 years. EBV DNA was quantified by polymerase chain reaction, and contagiousness was assessed using the cord lymphocyte transformation assay. RESULTS: EBV carriers with TE shed EBV DNA at an almost similar frequency (although in lower amounts) as pediatric patients with acute IM but more frequently (P <.001) and in higher amounts (P = .038) than EBV carriers without TE. EBV DNA levels in mouthwash samples from EBV carriers with TE mirrored levels in tonsils and gradually declined after tonsillectomy. Almost half of the mouthwash samples from pediatric EBV carriers contained infectious EBV. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric EBV carriers--in particular, those with TE-may considerably contribute to the spreading of EBV in industrialized countries.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:16 Dec 2010 12:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:17
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0022-1899
Additional Information:© 2010 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.
Publisher DOI:10.1086/656335
PubMed ID:20815705
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-36687

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