Presence of viremia in patients with primary herpetic gingivostomatitis

Liora Harel*, Zahava Smetana, Dario Prais, Mazal Book, Marina Alkin, E. Supaev, Ella Mendelson, Jacob Amir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Presence of viremia during primary herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections has been previously investigated, but the findings for immunocompetent individuals have only rarely been reported. Methods. With use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we evaluated blood samples obtained from children with primary herpes simplex virus (HSV) gingivostomatitis for viremia. Results. There were 16 girls and 16 boys, aged 9-44 months (median age, 19 months). Serological test results for HSV type 1 were positive for 3 subjects (10.3%), borderline for 7 (24.1%), and negative for 19 (65.5%). Results of PCR of peripheral blood samples were positive for 11 subjects (34.4%). Time from disease onset to specimen collection was 24-216 h (median, 72 h) and was longer for subjects with positive results of serological tests (P = .014) and shorter for subjects with positive PCR results (P = .42). No cases with positive results of both PCR and serological tests were found. Conclusion. PCR detected viremia in 34% of patients with primary herpetic gingivostomatitis. Presence of viremia may play a potential role in viral dissemination, providing a better understanding of the pathogenesis of HSV infections, especially of the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-640
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2004


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