Detection of Epstein‐Barr virus DNA in tongue tissues from AIDS autopsies without clinical evidence of oral hairy leukoplakia

M. J.E.M.R. Mabruk, S. R. Flint, M. Toner, N. Leonard, O. Shells, D. C. Coleman, G. J. Atkins

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Epstein‐Barr virus (EBV) DNA was detected by in situ hybridization at 3 sites of 30 samples taken from clinically normal lateral border of tongue mucosa from 15 AIDS autopsies and in none of 20 samples from 10 controls. The first positive case showed a thin layer of parakeratosis correlated with positive signals for EBV in one area and an adjacent area without obvious parakeratosis was also positive for EBV. These findings were present on both sides of the tongue. The second case was unilaterally positive for EBV and parakeratosis was absent. The hybridization signals were localised to koilocyte‐like cells in the stratum spinosum, as in oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL). These observations suggest that the in situ hybridization technique can detect very early or subclinical OHL, and supports the role of EBV in the pathogenesis of this lesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-112
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology & Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995



  • Epstein‐Barr virus
  • hairy leukoplakia
  • in situ hybridization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics

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