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October 19, 1984

An Outbreak of Herpes Simplex Virus Type I Gingivostomatitis in a Dental Hygiene Practice

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, York (Pa) Hospital (Drs Manzella and McConville); the Infectious Disease Unit, Department of Medicine (Dr Valenti), and the Department of Microbiology, Viral Diagnostic Laboratory (Dr Menegus), University of Rochester (NY) Medical Center; and the Virology Laboratory, Cardinal Glennon Memorial Hospital, St Louis University School of Medicine (Drs Swierkosz and Arens).

JAMA. 1984;252(15):2019-2022. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350150019013

An outbreak of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type I gingivostomatitis occurred in a dental hygiene practice in November 1981. An epidemiologic investigation disclosed that 20 of 46 patients seen by the dental hygienist during a four-day period had this illness, whereas none of 26 patients seen by the dentist alone became ill. One day after the outbreak, the hygienist was found to have a herpetic whitlow. Identical endonuclease restriction enzyme type I HSV was isolated from the left index finger of the hygienist and from nine of 16 patients. The nine patients with positive cultures all had at least a fourfold increase in complement fixing antibody titer. A similar significant increase in titer indicated another seven cases.

(JAMA 1984;252:2019-2022)