CC BY 4.0 · Eur J Dent
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1761423
Original Article

Association of Herpesvirus and Periodontitis: A Clinical and Laboratorial Case–Control Study

Marta Picolo
1   Mestrado Integrado de Medicina Dentária, Instituto Universitário Egas Moniz (IUEM), Caparica, Portugal
2   Clínica Universitária de Estomatologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
3   Research and Development Department, Maló Clinic, Lisboa, Portugal
Francisco Salvado
2   Clínica Universitária de Estomatologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
4   Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar Egas Moniz (CiiEM) – Instituto Universitário Egas Moniz (IUEM), Caparica Portugal
4   Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar Egas Moniz (CiiEM) – Instituto Universitário Egas Moniz (IUEM), Caparica Portugal
› Author Affiliations


Objectives A significant influence of the Herpesviridae family in the progression of periodontal disease has been suggested. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential association of four Herpesviruses (HSV-1, HSV-2, cytomegalovirus [CMV], and Epstein-Barr virus [EBV]) with periodontal disease using a qualitative test for evaluating the presence or absence of viral DNA in crevicular fluid samples of both healthy periodontal patients and periodontal compromised patients.

Materials and Methods A case–control study was conducted in 100 participants at a university clinic. A qualitative test was used for evaluating the presence/absence of viral DNA in crevicular fluid samples of both healthy periodontal patients and periodontal compromised patients, and considering the periodontitis staging (stage II, stage III, and stage IV) and grading (grade A, grade B, and grade C).

Statistical Analysis The distribution of the same exposure variables to the periodontitis staging and grading was compared using Chi-square, Fisher's exact, and Gamma tests depending on the variable characteristics. The significance level was set at 5%. The association of the variables: age, sex, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, and oral hygiene was also considered.

Results The prevalence of Herpesviridae family virus DNA was 6% for the periodontal healthy group and 60% for the periodontitis group (roughly 60% on periodontitis stages II, III, and IV, p <0.001; and twofold increase in moderate and rapid progression grades compared with the slow progression grade, p <0.001). HSV1 DNA was prevalent in all periodontitis stages and grades. HSV 2, EBV, and CMV DNA had increasing prevalence rates in more severe stages (stages III and IV, p <0.001); while considering periodontitis grade, HSV2 (p = 0.001), CMV (p = 0.019) and EBV (p <0.001) DNA were prevalent only in grades B and C, with EBV DNA registering a marked prevalence in grade C.

Conclusion A significant different distribution of Herpesviridae virus DNA per each stage of disease was registered.

Clinical Relevance

Scientific Rationale for Study

The virulence of infectious microorganisms is highly determinant in the progression of periodontal disease; however, environmental, immune, demographic, and viral factors have also been suggested, with a potential significant influence of the Herpesviridae family.

Principal Findings

Herpesviridae virus DNA was highly prevalent in patients with periodontitis, with HSV1 prevalent in all stages and grades, and HSV2, EBV and CMV prevalent in more severe stages and in moderate and rapid progression grades.

Practical Implications

It is important to screen for Herpesviridae virus DNA during periodontal treatment considering the probability of involvement in the etiopathogenesis of periodontitis.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Article published online:
09 June 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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