Source Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, MNDAV Dental College and Hospital, Tatul, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Viral hepatitis is one of the world's most common viral illnesses. Hepatitis B virus infection is a global health problem, and its importance in dentistry is well recognized. The role of saliva in the transmission of hepatitis B makes dentists and dental personnel particularly vulnerable to hepatitis B infection. The objective of this study was to predict the efficacy of saliva as a tool for the detection of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), which is the hallmark of the infection. The study group comprised 70 patients, 35 of whom were known to be hepatitis B infection seropositive (test group) and the remaining 35 who did not have hepatitis B (control group). All of the subjects were tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. Of the 35 seropositive subjects, HBsAg was detected in the saliva samples of 26 subjects. The sensitivity and specificity of saliva as a diagnostic tool for detecting HBsAg antigen in this study was 74.29% and 100%, respectively. Because of its noninvasive nature, saliva can be effectively used for large-scale Hepatitis B virus detection.