The utility of salivary CRP and IL-6 as a non-invasive measurement evaluated in patients with COVID-19 with and without diabetes

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Background: The available evidence suggests that inflammatory responses, in both systemic and oral tissue, contribute to the pathology of COVID-19 disease. Hence, studies of inflammation biomarkers in oral fluids, such as saliva, might be useful to better specify COVID-19 features. Methods: In the current study, we performed quantitative real-time PCR to measure salivary levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in saliva obtained from patients diagnosed with mild COVID-19, in a diabetic group (DG; n = 10) and a non-diabetic group (NDG; n = 13). All participants were diagnosed with periodontitis, while six participants with periodontitis but not diagnosed with COVID-19 were included as controls. Results: We found increases in salivary total protein levels in both the DG and NDG compared to control patients. In both groups, salivary CRP and IL-6 levels were comparable. Additionally, the levels of salivary CRP were significantly correlated with total proteins, in which a strong and moderate positive correlation was found between DG and NDG, respectively. A linear positive correlation was also noted in the relationship between salivary IL-6 level and total proteins, but the correlation was not significant. Interestingly, the association between salivary CRP and IL-6 levels was positive. However, a moderately significant correlation was only found in COVID-19 patients with diabetes, through which the association was validated by a receiver operating curve. Conclusions: These finding suggest that salivary CRP and IL-6 are particularly relevant as potential non-invasive biomarker for predicting diabetes risk in mild cases of COVID-19 accompanied with periodontitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number419
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • C-reactive protein
  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes
  • interleukin-6
  • periodontitis


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