Two North Carolina nurses who gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a man infected with the AIDS virus show no signs of the disease.
The cases, reported recently in The New England Journal of Medicine, were called ''further evidence'' that transmission of AIDS through saliva is rare.
''If this mode of transmission were important . . . one might expect a higher rate of seropositivity indicating exposure to the virus among the spouses of patients with AIDS,'' Dr. Susan M. Saviteer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and several colleagues reported.
The nurses, tested regularly for nine months after the incident, were ''seronegative,'' meaning that their blood had not developed antibodies to acquired immune deficiency syndrome and therefore probably had not been exposed.
The patient was a hemophiliac who apparently was exposed to the AIDS virus from contaminated clotting factor before a screening test was available. He developed AIDS-related complex, a condition of swollen glands and other symptoms that often is followed by the deadly disease.
Eighteen months later, while hospitalized in connection with his hemophilia, his heart stopped, apparently as a result of drug abuse. Each nurse delivered about 20 breaths in an unsuccessful attemp to revive him.
''The case provides further evidence that the risk [from one exposure] to the oral secretions of an infected person is probably quite low," Saviteer concluded.