• Frisque, Richard John (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the cause of infectious mononucleosis (I.M.) and has been associated with Burkitts lymphoma and nasal pharyngeal carcinoma. Even though the B-lymphocyte is the target site in I.M. it has been suggested that the primary site of viral replication are epithelial cells of the oropharynx and as a result the virus may be found in saliva of apparently healthy individuals. Because of aerosols created by high speed drills and other equipment it can be assumed that dental professionals are regularly and continuously exposed to the viral flora of the oral cavity which many include EBV. The object of our study therefore is to determine if EBV is found in the oral cavity of normal patients and how long after I.M. the virus remains in the saliva. To obtain these results aliquots from swabs from the oral cavity of 2000 patients will be assayed by an immunoblot procedure. Samples will be placed on nitrocellulose paper along with controls and reacted with monoclonal antibody (2L10) which is specific for an EBV glycoprotein. This will then be reacted with peroxidase conjugated rabbit anti-mouse IgG and the extent of the reaction determined by development with 4-chloro-1-napthal. Preliminary studies have established that monoclonal antibody 2L10 can detect between 10-2--10-3 EBV particles and does not cross react with herpes simplex virus type 1. Samples positive by the immunoblot assay will be tested for biological activity by transformation of fetal cord blood lymphocytes. Analysis of results will establish the per cent of individuals that can be expected to contain EBV in the oral cavity as well as the length of time after I.M. virus is secreted into this site. Such information can assist in determining if professional dentists are regularly exposed to the virus and if preventive measures should be recommended.
Effective start/end date8/1/867/31/87


  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research


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