Epstein–Barr virus is associated with periodontal diseases: A meta-analysis based on 21 case–control studies

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Some controversies still exist between the detection of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)'s DNA and risks of periodontal diseases. Hence, a comprehensive meta-analysis on all available literatures was performed to clarify the relationship between EBV and preidontitis.

A comprehensive search was conducted within the PUBMED, EMBASE, and WANFANG databases up to October 10th, 2016 according to inclusion and exclusion criteria and finally 21 case–control literatures were obtained. The outcomes including odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the strength of associations. Publication bias was determined by Begg or Egger test. Sensitivity analysis was used to investigate reliability and stability of the results.

According to the data from included trials, the association between overall increased risks of periodontitis and the detection of EBV was significant (OR = 6.199, 95% CI = 3.119–12.319, P < 0.001). In the disease-type analysis, the pooled ORs for chronic periodontitis and aggressive periodontitis were 6.586 (95% CI = 3.042–14.262, P < 0.001) and 8.361 (95% CI = 2.109–33.143, P = 0.003), respectively. In the subgroup analysis of ethnicity, our results suggested that high EBV-detecting frequencies were correlated with increased risks of periodontitis in Asians, Europeans, and Americans (P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis by the sample type showed that subgingival plaque (SgP) samples and tissue samples were available for EBV detecting (P < 0.001). Detecting EBV of samples in ≥5 (6) mm sites of periodontal pockets were easier than in ≤3-mm sites (P = 0.023).

This meta-analysis indicates that high frequent detection of EBV correlates with increased risk of periodontal diseases. SgP and tissue are available for detecting EBV in patients of periodontitis. At last, our results suggest that detecting EBV of samples in =5 (6) mm sites of periodontal pockets are more sensitive than in ≤3-mm sites.

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