Herpesviruses in Endodontic Pathoses: Association of Epstein-Barr Virus with Irreversible Pulpitis and Apical Periodontitis

Hong Li, Vicky Chen, Yanwen Chen, J. Craig Baumgartner, Curtis A. Machida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Irreversible pulpitis and apical periodontitis are inflammatory diseases caused by opportunistic bacteria with possible co-infection with latent herpesviruses. The objectives of this study are to identify herpesviruses, including human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), and Varicella zoster virus (VZV) in patients with irreversible pulpitis (n = 29) or apical periodontitis, either primary (n = 30) or previously treated (n = 23). Using primary and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcription-PCR, EBV DNA and RNA were present in endodontic pathoses in significantly higher percentages (43.9% and 25.6%, respectively) compared with healthy pulp controls (0% and 0%, respectively). HCMV DNA and RNA were found in measurable numbers in both endodontic patients (15.9% and 29.3%, respectively) and in healthy pulp controls (42.1% and 10.5%, respectively). HSV-1 DNA was found in low percentages in endodontic patients (13.4%), and only one patient showed the presence of VZV. In conclusion, EBV may be associated with irreversible pulpitis and apical periodontitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Apical cyst
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Varicella zoster virus
  • apical granuloma
  • apical periodontitis
  • endodontic infections
  • herpes simplex virus
  • herpesviruses
  • human cytomegalovirus
  • irreversible pulpitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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