OBJECTIVE. This study aimed to detect and quantify the HIV-1 viral load in ranula fluid of HIV-positive patients.
STUDY DESIGN. Fourteen HIV-positive patients (13 not on highly active antiretroviral therapy) presenting with ranulas
were prospectively evaluated. The viral load in the ranula fluid was quantified, and the results were correlated with
CD4 cell count and viral load in the patient’s blood. The NucliSens EasyQ system (NucliSens Easymag; bioMérieux),
which is based on nucleic acid sequence–based amplification and real-time detection using molecular beacons, was
used to quantitate viral RNA in the fluid.
RESULTS. Concentrations of HIV-1 RNA ranged from 25 to 1,600,000 copies/mL in the fluid. However, no significant
statistical correlation could be established with either CD4 cell count or viral load in patients’ blood.
CONCLUSIONS. Various concentrations of HIV-1 RNA were found in ranula fluid, which appears to serve as a viral
reservoir in HIV-infected patients.