Frank A. Boksa, University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, IA, presented “Salivary Immune Signature of SARS-nCoV2 Infection” on hybrid 51st Annual meeting and exhibition of AADOCR, held in connection with the 46thth Annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), online and on-site in Atlanta, GA, March 26, 2022.
With more than 219 million confirmed cases of SARS-nCoV2 infection and 4.55 million deaths, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide. In addition to saliva being a reservoir for the virus, new evidence correlates salivary virus levels with the severity of infection, hospitalization, and death. Saliva is a complex secretory fluid with several bacterial and host degradation products that perform several household functions. The inflammatory complications of COVID-19 are well established at present, but the levels of these inflammatory mediators in saliva are not quantified. The researchers quantified the inflammatory mediators in saliva in COVID-19 using a cross-sectional study design.
The researchers collected saliva from 87 patients who were frequency matched for gender, age, BMI and smoking status, were divided into three groups: Symptomatic COVID-19 positive (symptomatic), Symptomatic COVID-19 negative (which manifests itself with a flu-like illness, FLI) , asymptomatic (negative) based on their titers from RT-PCR in nasopharyngeal swabs and saliva. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines and other immune mediators were quantified using a TH-17 cytokine assay kit and read using a Bio-Plex 200 fluorescent microplate reader. Steel-Dwass test, which protects the overall error rate, was used to determine statistical significance.
The researchers concluded that identification of inflammatory markers in COVID-19 patients, which is different from the other influenza-like diseases, indicates a unique immune signature associated with the disease. Saliva levels of several of these immune mediators reflect systemic levels, indicating a potential role for saliva in COVID pathogenesis.