Scientific studies

Identification of Candidate Periodontal Pathogens and Beneficial Species by Quantitative 16S Clonal Analysis†

Scientific studies

Category: Oral Microbiology
Author: Kumar PS, Griffen AL, Moeschberger ML, Leys EJ.
Published on: J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Aug;43(8):3944-55.

Most studies of the bacterial etiology of periodontitis have used either culture-based or targeted DNA approaches, and so it is likely that pathogens remain undiscovered. The purpose of this study was to use culture-independent, quantitative analysis of biofilms associated with chronic periodontitis and periodontal health to identify pathogens and beneficial species. Samples from subjects with periodontitis and controls were analyzed using ribosomal 16S cloning and sequencing.

Several genera, many of them uncultivated, were associated with periodontitis, the most numerous of which were gram positive, including Peptostreptococcus and Filifactor. The genera Megasphaera and Desulfobulbus were elevated in periodontitis, and the levels of several species or phylotypes of Campylobacter, Selenomonas, Deferribacteres, Dialister, Catonella, Tannerella, Streptococcus, Atopobium, Eubacterium, and Treponema were elevated in disease.

Streptococcus and Veillonella spp. were found in high numbers in all samples and accounted for a significantly greater fraction of the microbial community in healthy subjects than in those with periodontitis. The microbial profile of periodontal health also included the less-abundant genera Campylobacter, Abiotrophia, Gemella, Capnocytophaga, and Neisseria.

These newly identified candidates outnumbered Porphyromonas gingivalis and other species previously implicated as periodontopathogens, and it is not clear if newly identified and more numerous species may play a more important role in pathogenesis. Finally, more differences were found in the bacterial profile between subjects with periodontitis and healthy subjects than between deep and shallow sites within the same subject. This suggests that chronic periodontitis is the result of a global perturbation of the oral bacterial ecology rather than a disease-site specific microbial shift.

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