This study evaluated the salivary concentrations of lactoferrin (Lf) in HIV-seropositive and -seronegative
subjects correlating these levels with the incidence of periodontal disease, quantity of Candida spp and systemic condition
of the HIV-seropositives (viral load and T lymphocytes CD-4+ count and antiretroviral therapy).
Whole saliva samples were obtained from 109 subjects who were divided into four groups according to the extent of their
HIV infection and their periodontal condition. The salivary Lf concentrations were determined by a standard enzymelinked
immunosorbent assay and the quantification of Candida spp. was obtained from all subjects.
Among the HIV- participants, higher concentrations of Lf were found in individuals with periodontal diseases
(p<0.0001). A similar result was found for HIV+ participants (p<0.0001). No correlation was found between the
concentration of salivary Lf and the quantification of Candida spp or between the Lf concentration and the systemic
condition of the HIV+ subjects.
The existence of periodontal diseases can modulate an early inflammatory process in the oral mucosa by increasing the
expression of Lf, where Lf can act as an antibacterial peptide in HIV- and HIV+ patients. These results suggest that Lf is a
possible marker for periodontal diseases in immunocompetent and immunocompromised subjects.