Possible transmission of HIV Infection due to human bite

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The potential risk of HIV-1 infection following human bite although epidemiologically insignificant, but it is biologically possible. There are anecdotal reports of HIV transmission by human bites particularly if saliva is mixed with blood. The oral tissues support HIV replication and may serve as a previously unrecognized HIV reservoir. The HIV infected individuals have more viruses in blood than saliva, possibly due to the potent HIV-inhibitory properties of saliva. The case presented here is of a primary HIV infections following a human bite where in the saliva was not blood stained but it got smeared on a raw nail bed of a recipient. The blood and saliva of the source and blood of the recipient showed a detectable viral load with 91% sequence homology of C2-V3 region of HIV gp120 between the two individuals. The recipient did not receive PEP [post exposure prophylaxis] as his family physician was unaware of salivary transmission. The family physician should have taken PEP decision after proper evaluation of the severe and bleeding bite. Hence it is necessary to treat the HIV infected human bites with post exposure prophylaxis. © 2011 Deshpande et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Deshpande, A. K., Jadhav, S. K., & Bandivdekar, A. H. (2011). Possible transmission of HIV Infection due to human bite. AIDS Research and Therapy, 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-6405-8-16

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