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1.  Antigenically Diverse Reference Strains and Autologous Strains of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans Are Equally Efficient Antigens in Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Analysis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(12):4640-4645.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a major pathogen in periodontitis. Data on the clinical relevance of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels against this species are controversial. The aim of the present study was to elucidate how different strains used as antigens in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) influence the detection of individuals with elevated serum IgG levels against A. actinomycetemcomitans. We hypothesized that the highest antibody levels are targeted to the autologous strains. A total of 19 strains—six antigenically diverse reference strains (serotypes a through e and a nonserotypeable strain) and 13 serotyped autologous strains—were used as whole-cell antigens in ELISA. Serum samples were from 26 untreated adult patients with periodontitis, whose subgingival bacterial samples were either culture positive (n = 13) or culture negative (n = 13) for A. actinomycetemcomitans, and from 10 culture-negative nonperiodontitis subjects. The highest individual (P < 0.05) IgG levels against the reference strains were most commonly against serotypes a and b in patients and against serotype c in nonperiodontitis subjects. The culture-positive patients had the highest (P < 0.05) IgG antibody levels against their autologous strains and against the reference strains of the same serotype. On the contrary, for these patients the levels of antibody against the reference strains of other serotypes were comparable to those of the nonperiodontitis subjects. The results indicated that the serum IgG antibody levels against A. actinomycetemcomitans strongly depend on the strains used as antigens in the ELISA. Elevated serum IgG levels against A. actinomycetemcomitans can be detected equally well using either the autologous strains or a variety of antigenically diverse reference strains as antigens.
PMCID: PMC154631  PMID: 12454165
2.  Immunoglobulin G response to subgingival gram-negative bacteria in human subjects. 
Infection and Immunity  1984;45(1):47-51.
Serum and gingival crevicular fluid from normal healthy adults and patients with periodontitis were screened for immunoglobulin G antibodies to antigens from Bacteroides gingivalis 381, Bacteroides intermedius 24, Bacteroides loescheii ATCC 15930, Fusobacterium nucleatum ATCC 25586, Eikenella corrodens 1073, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans ATCC 29522, and Capnocytophaga sp. strain M-12. Immunoglobulin G antibody titers to the antigens were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The antibody levels to B. gingivalis in serum and gingival crevicular fluid were significantly higher in the samples from patients with periodontitis than in samples from healthy individuals. Although there were individual differences within patient groups, a positive correlation (P less than 0.01) was found between the serum immunoglobulin G levels to B. gingivalis and the development of periodontitis. The antibodies to F. nucleatum (P less than 0.05), E. corrodens (P less than 0.05), and A. actinomycetemcomitans were slightly higher in patients with periodontitis than in normal subjects. There were no remarkable differences between the two groups in titers to B. intermedius, B. loescheii, and Capnocytophaga sp.
PMCID: PMC263260  PMID: 6735473
3.  Initial serum antibody titer to Porphyromonas gingivalis influences development of antibody avidity and success of therapy for chronic periodontitis. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(9):3411-3416.
This study assessed the effect of periodontal therapy on specific serum antibody concentration, expressed as titer, and antibody binding strength, expressed as relative avidity. The immune responses to Porphyromonas gingivalis and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans were investigated. Antibody titer was assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and relative avidity was measured by thiocyanate elution in 17 adult periodontitis patients before and after therapy. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) avidities (expressed as thiocyanate molarity) to P. gingivalis increased from 1.01 to 1.38 M (P = 0.05) and IgA titers (expressed as ELISA units [EU]) increased from 89 to 237 EU (P = 0.012). There were no significant changes in avidity to A. actinomycetemcomitans, but the titer of all three immunoglobulin classes increased significantly (P < 0.03). More specifically, when patients were divided into subgroups which had originally been either IgG seropositive (i.e., having an IgG titer to this organism > 2 times the control median) or seronegative for P. gingivalis, only patients who were initially seropositive showed a significant increase in antibody avidity (P = 0.026; mean difference, 0.69 M). Patients who were originally seropositive in terms of IgG and IgA titer to P. gingivalis had demonstrably better treatment outcomes in terms of a reduced number of deep pockets and sites which bled on probing (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that periodontal therapy affects the magnitude and quality of the humoral immune response to suspected periodontopathogens, that this effect is dependent on initial serostatus, and that initial serostatus may have a bearing on treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC173469  PMID: 7642270
4.  Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Antigen Detection Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Using Multiserotype-Reactive Monoclonal Antibodies▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(11):3663-3668.
Monoclonal antibody (MAb)-based sandwich direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MSD-ELISA) methods that can detect foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) antigens, both multiserotype (MSD-ELISA/MS) (for O, A, C, and Asia 1) and single-serotype (MSD-ELISA/SS) (for O, A, and Asia 1, specifically), were developed. MAb 1H5 was used as an antigen-trapping antibody that reacted with all seven serotypes of FMDV. The MAbs 71F2, 70C4, 16C6, and 7C2 were used as peroxidase-labeled detecting antibodies for multiple serotypes (O, A, C, and Asia 1), type O, type A, and type Asia 1, respectively, in both MSD-ELISA/MS and MSD-ELISA/SS. Our MSD-ELISAs showed high specificity. They produced a very low background of negative samples (buffer, plasma, and saliva) and were able to detect FMDV antigens from clinical samples (plasma and saliva), with results correlating with those of real-time reverse transcription-PCR. In terms of sensitivity, the MSD-ELISAs showed higher optical density values against each diluted serotype antigen than the indirect sandwich ELISA method, which is currently recommended in the manual of the World Organization for Animal Health. The sensitivity and specificity of the MSD-ELISAs seem to be sufficient for the antigenic diagnosis of FMDV.
PMCID: PMC2772642  PMID: 19759230
5.  Periodontitis Is Associated with a Low Concentration of Vitamin C in Plasma 
This study aimed to clarify how concentrations of vitamin C in plasma relate to the serology of periodontitis. The random sample used comprised 431 men, 194 from Finland and 237 from Russia. The plasma vitamin C concentration was determined by o-phtaldialdehyde-fluorometry, and serum immunoglobulin G antibodies to Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis were determined by a multiserotype enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The mean plasma vitamin C concentration was higher (P < 0.001) in Finnish subjects (mean ± standard deviation, 4.5 ± 2.8 mg/liter) than in Russian subjects (1.4 ± 1.8 mg/liter). Mean antibody levels to both A. actinomycetemcomitans (4.7 ± 3.6 versus 5.2 ± 3.1 ELISA units [P = 0.05]) and P. gingivalis (5.7 ± 2.5 versus 7.6 ± 2.9 ELISA units [P < 0.001]) were lower in Finnish men than in Russian men. In the combined Finnish and Russian population, the antibody levels to P. gingivalis were negatively correlated with vitamin C concentrations (r = −0.22; P < 0.001); this association remained statistically significant (P = 0.010) in a linear regression model after adjustment for confounding factors. The proportion of P. gingivalis-seropositive subjects decreased with increasing vitamin C concentrations (P for trend, <0.01), but no trend was seen among A. actinomycetemcomitans-seropositive subjects. In conclusion, P. gingivalis infection is associated with low concentrations of vitamin C in plasma, which may increase colonization of P. gingivalis or disturb the healing of the infected periodontium.
PMCID: PMC193894  PMID: 12965924
6.  Improved Multiplex PCR Using Conserved and Species-Specific 16S rRNA Gene Primers for Simultaneous Detection of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Bacteroides forsythus, and Porphyromonas gingivalis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(11):3504-3508.
Among putative periodontal pathogens, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Bacteroides forsythus, and Porphyromonas gingivalis are most convincingly implicated as etiological agents in periodontitis. Therefore, techniques for detection of those three species would be of value. We previously published a description of a multiplex PCR that detects A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis. The present paper presents an improvement on that technique, which now allows more sensitive detection of all three periodontal pathogens. Sensitivity was determined by testing serial dilutions of A. actinomycetemcomitans, B. forsythus, and P. gingivalis cells. Primer specificity was tested against (i) all gene sequences from the GenBank-EMBL database, (ii) six A. actinomycetemcomitans, one B. forsythus, and four P. gingivalis strains, (iii) eight different species of oral bacteria, and (iv) supra- and subgingival plaque samples from 20 healthy subjects and subgingival plaque samples from 10 patients with periodontitis. The multiplex PCR had a detection limit of 10 A. actinomycetemcomitans, 10 P. gingivalis, and 100 B. forsythus cells. Specificity was confirmed by the fact that (i) none of our forward primers were homologous to the 16S rRNA genes of other oral species, (ii) amplicons of predicted size were detected for all A. actinomycetemcomitans, B. forsythus, and P. gingivalis strains tested, and (iii) no amplicons were detected for the eight other bacterial species. A. actinomycetemcomitans, B. forsythus, and P. gingivalis were detected in 6 of 20, 1 of 20, and 11 of 20 of supragingival plaque samples, respectively, and 4 of 20, 7 of 20, and 13 of 20 of subgingival plaque samples, respectively, from periodontally healthy subjects. Among patients with periodontitis, the organisms were detected in 7 of 10, 10 of 10, and 7 of 10 samples, respectively. The simultaneous detection of three periodontal pathogens is an advantage of this technique over conventional PCR assays.
PMCID: PMC85679  PMID: 10523542
7.  Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans Serotype d-Specific Antigen Contains the O Antigen of Lipopolysaccharide  
Infection and Immunity  2003;71(9):5005-5011.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic bacterium which is associated especially with aggressive forms of periodontitis. Contradictory results on the localization of the A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype-specific antigen have been reported. The aim of the present study was to characterize the A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype d-specific antigen. The antigen was isolated by affinity chromatography. The affinity column was prepared from immunoglobulin G isolated from rabbit antiserum raised against A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype d. The isolated antigen was analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, and silver staining, all of which revealed a ladder-like structure typical for the O antigen of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In a displacement enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the isolated antigen displaced in a concentration-dependent manner the binding of the polyclonal rabbit antiserum raised against A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype d to the competing whole-cell serotype d antigen. The isolated antigen contained LPS, and an equal concentration of LPS isolated from A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype d gave a similar displacement curve in the ELISA. In order to test the immunogenic properties of the isolated antigen, it was used to immunize a rabbit. The antiserum raised against the isolated antigen displayed specificity in Western blotting and ELISA similar to that of antibody raised against LPS isolated from A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype d. In conclusion, our results show that the A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype d-specific antigen contains the O-antigenic structure of LPS.
PMCID: PMC187330  PMID: 12933843
8.  Modification of cystatin C activity by bacterial proteinases and neutrophil elastase in periodontitis. 
Molecular Pathology  1997;50(6):291-297.
AIM: To study the interaction between the human cysteine proteinase inhibitor, cystatin C, and proteinases of periodontitis associated bacteria. METHODS: Gingival crevicular fluid samples were collected from discrete periodontitis sites and their cystatin C content was estimated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The interaction between cystatin C and proteolytic enzymes from cultured strains of the gingival bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans was studied by measuring inhibition of enzyme activity against peptidyl substrates, by detection of break down patterns of solid phase coupled and soluble cystatin C, and by N-terminal sequence analysis of cystatin C products resulting from the interactions. RESULTS: Gingival crevicular fluid contained cystatin C at a concentration of approximately 15 nM. Cystatin C did not inhibit the principal thiol stimulated proteinase activity of P gingivalis. Instead, strains of P gingivalis and P intermedia, but not A actinomycetemcomitans, released cystatin C modifying proteinases. Extracts of five P gingivalis and five P intermedia strains all hydrolysed bonds in the N-terminal region of cystatin C at physiological pH values. The modified cystatin C resulting from incubation with one P gingivalis strain was isolated and found to lack the eight most N-terminal residues. The affinity of the modified inhibitor for cathepsin B was 20-fold lower (Ki 5 nM) than that of full length cystatin C. A 50 kDa thiol stimulated proteinase, gingipain R, was isolated from P gingivalis and shown to be responsible for the Arg8-bond hydrolysis in cystatin C. The cathepsin B inhibitory activity of cystatin C incubated with gingival crevicular fluid was rapidly abolished after Val10-bond cleavage by elastase from exudate neutrophils, but cleavage at the gingipain specific Arg8-bond was also demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: The physiological control of cathepsin B activity is impeded in periodontitis, owing to the release of proteinases from infecting P gingivalis and neutrophils, with a contribution to the tissue destruction seen in periodontitis as a probable consequence.
PMCID: PMC379662  PMID: 9536278
9.  Antigens of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans recognized by patients with juvenile periodontitis and periodontally normal subjects. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(3):913-924.
Most juvenile periodontitis patients respond to infection by Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by producing serum antibodies. Specific antigens inducing the humoral immune response have not been identified, nor has the role of the resulting antibodies in disease progression been determined. Adsorbed and unadsorbed sera from juvenile periodontitis patients and normal subjects were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blots (immunoblots), using digested and undigested bacterial sonicates and French pressure cell fractions to determine the biochemical class, cross-reactivity, and cellular location of the antigens in different A. actinomycetemcomitans serotypes. Antigens detected by using high-titer sera included the following: (i) serotype-specific nonprotein material located on the cell surface, (ii) soluble-fraction proteins showing highly variable antibody binding, (iii) cross-reactive proteins, and (iv) a protein present in soluble and cell wall fractions and immunopositive for all sera tested. In addition, one apparently nonprotein component that was enriched in the cell wall fraction was observed. Sera with high immunoglobulin G titers to one, two, three, or none of the three A. actinomycetemcomitans serotypes were observed. There was a high degree of variation from one patient to another in the humoral immune response to serotype-specific and cross-reactive antigens. As demonstrated by whole-cell adsorption experiments, the serotype-specific surface antigen accounted for approximately 72 to 90% of the total antibody-binding activity for sera with titers greater than 100-fold above background, while cross-reactive antigen accounted for less than 28%. Antibody binding the whole-cell sonicate for high-titer sera was inhibited 90% by lipopolysaccharide from the same serotype, strongly suggesting that lipopolysaccharide is the immunodominant antigen class.
PMCID: PMC258347  PMID: 1705243
10.  Relative avidity of serum immunoglobulin G antibody for the fimbria antigen of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in patients with adult periodontitis. 
Infection and Immunity  1993;61(1):332-334.
The relative avidity of serum immunoglobulin G antibody for the fimbria antigen of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans was assessed by diethylamine dissociation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in patients with adult periodontitis. High-titer sera from patients not harboring A. actinomycetemcomitans had significantly higher avidities for the fimbria antigen than did high-titer sera from patients with A. actinomycetemcomitans in their periodontal pockets. The elicited antibodies against the fimbria antigen may afford protection against A. actinomycetemcomitans infection.
PMCID: PMC302724  PMID: 8418056
11.  A microbiological study of Papillon-Lefévre syndrome in two patients 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2001;54(5):371-376.
Aim—To analyse the microflora of subgingival plaque from patients with Papillon-Lefévre syndrome (PLS), which is a very rare disease characterised by palmar-plantar hyperkeratosis with precocious periodontal destruction.
Methods—Bacterial isolates were identified using a combination of commercial identification kits, traditional laboratory tests, and gas liquid chromatography. Some isolates were also subjected to partial 16S rDNA sequencing. Plaque samples were also assayed for the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in a quantitative enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using monoclonal antibodies.
Results—The culture results showed that most isolates were capnophilic and facultatively anaerobic species—mainly Capnocytophaga spp and Streptococcus spp. The latter included S constellatus, S oralis, and S sanguis. Other facultative bacteria belonged to the genera gemella, kingella, leuconostoc, and stomatococcus. The aerobic bacteria isolated were species of neisseria and bacillus. Anaerobic species included Prevotella intermedia, P melaninogenica, and P nigrescens, as well as Peptostreptococcus spp. ELISA detected P gingivalis in one patient in all sites sampled, whereas A actinomycetemcomitans was detected in only one site from the other patient. Prevotella intermedia was present in low numbers.
Conclusions—Patients with PLS have a very complex subgingival flora including recognised periodontal pathogens. However, no particular periodontopathogen is invariably associated with PLS.
Key Words: Papillon-Lefévre syndrome • periodontopathogens
PMCID: PMC1731428  PMID: 11328836
12.  Immunoglobulin allotypes and immunoglobulin G subclass responses to Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis in early-onset periodontitis. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(10):4226-4230.
The present study was performed to estimate the observed frequencies of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain (Gm) and light-chain (Km) allotypes among patients with early-onset periodontitis (EOP) and their effect on the IgG2 subclass responses against Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans Y4 and Porphyromonas gingivalis 381, respectively. Sixty-nine EOP patients, including 11 with localized juvenile periodontitis (LJP), 19 who had LJP, 15 with LJP-rapidly progressing periodontitis (RPP), and 24 with RPP, were examined for the Gm and Km allotypes by a hemagglutination inhibition test. Levels of immunoglobulin G2 (IgG2) antibodies against the two organisms were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fifty race- and age-matched, periodontally healthy subjects were also included as a control group. The observed frequencies of the Gm haplotype afnb and Km(1) were significantly higher in the RPP and LJP groups, respectively. The G2m(n)+ group of those with RPP and the Km(1)+ group of those with LJP had significantly higher levels of IgG2 antibodies to A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis, respectively. The results indicate that linkage disequilibrium of the G2m(n) locus in RPP patients or the Km(1) locus in LJP patients may be associated with high IgG2 antibody responses to the respective bacteria. It was reasoned that the IgG2 antibody responses are associated with the immunoglobulin allotypes. The function of IgG2 antibodies in their reaction to different bacterial antigens may be interpreted as either protective or nonprotective in the two different types of EOP (i.e., LJP and RPP).
PMCID: PMC174360  PMID: 8926092
13.  Oral pathogens and allergic disease: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 
The hygiene hypothesis contends that fewer opportunities for infection have led to increases in the prevalences of asthma and other allergic diseases.
This study evaluated the association between asthma, wheeze, and hay fever and antibodies to 2 oral bacteria associated with periodontal disease.
Data were obtained from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Serum levels of IgG antibodies to Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis were quantified by enzyme-linked immunoassays in 9385 subjects age 12 years and older. The outcomes were current asthma, wheeze, and hay fever. Odds ratios (ORs) representing a 1–log-unit increase in IgG concentrations were estimated with logistic regression. ORs were adjusted for 8 confounders and weighted to represent the US population.
For each disease outcome, geometric mean antibody concentrations were higher in persons without the disease outcome than with the disease outcome. For a 1–log-unit increase in P gingivalis antibody concentration, adjusted ORs were 0.41 (95% CI, 0.20-0.87) for asthma, 0.43 (0.23-0.78) for wheeze, and 0.45 (0.23-0.93) for hay fever. For A actinomycetemcomitans, those ORs were 0.56 (0.19-1.72), 0.39 (0.17-0.86), and 0.48 (0.23-1.03), respectively.
Consistent with the hygiene hypothesis, higher concentrations of IgG antibodies to P gingivalis were significantly associated with lower prevalences of asthma, wheeze, and hay fever, and higher concentrations of IgG antibodies to A actinomycetemcomitans were significantly associated with a lower prevalence of wheeze.
Clinical implications:
Colonization of the oral cavity by bacteria and other microbes might play a protective role in the etiology of allergic disease.
PMCID: PMC2065847  PMID: 17088145
Asthma; wheeze; hay fever; hygiene hypothesis; periodontal disease; epidemiology; survey; antibodies; oral pathogens; Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans; Porphyromonas gingivalis
14.  Assessment of serum antibody patterns and analysis of subgingival microflora of members of a family with a high prevalence of early-onset periodontitis. 
Infection and Immunity  1985;49(3):742-750.
In a study of members of a large family with a high prevalence of early-onset periodontitis, we sampled the subgingival microflora and characterized 40 isolates from each sample. We surveyed serum samples by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies reacting with any of a panel of 21 periodontal bacteria. The mother and 7 of her 13 children had early-onset periodontitis. Bacteroides gingivalis was not detected in the subgingival flora of any affected or unaffected family member, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans was isolated from only one affected child. Capnocytophaga ochracea was isolated from five of seven affected children and from none of their normal siblings. We found no significant differences among the floras from family members who had rapidly progressive, juvenile, and prepubertal forms of periodontitis. Elevated levels of serum antibody reacting with one or more of the bacteria tested were found in all family members with disease, but in only one periodontally normal family member. Both children with prepubertal periodontitis had antibodies reacting with C. sputigena, a species not found in their subgingival floras, but with none of the other bacteria tested. All remaining affected family members had antibodies to one or more serotypes of A. actinomycetemcomitans, and four had antibodies reacting with additional bacteria, including C. sputigena, Eikenella corrodens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Haemophilus aphrophilus. Sera from patients contained antibodies specific for putative periodontal pathogens not found in their pocket flora, and conversely, putative periodontal pathogens for which no serum antibodies were found frequently comprised a large proportion (10% or more) of the pocket flora. In no case were both the bacterium and its antibody found. These observations are suggestive of sequential infection in the early-onset forms of periodontitis and of induction of protective immunity against reinfection by the same microorganism.
PMCID: PMC261261  PMID: 4030102
15.  Evidence that the serotype b antigenic determinant of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans Y4 resides in the polysaccharide moiety of lipopolysaccharide. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(4):1544-1551.
A high-molecular-weight polysaccharide-containing antigen was isolated from a phenol-water extract of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans ATCC 43718 (formerly Y4) by gel permeation chromatography in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-disaggregating buffer. The polysaccharide antigen formed a precipitin band with rabbit serotype b-specific antiserum but not with rabbit antisera to serotype a or c. Electroblotted serotype b antigen was probed with serum from a patient with localized juvenile periodontitis (LJP), resulting in a diffuse "smear" in the upper region of the lane. By utilizing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, it was demonstrated that the geometric mean immunoglobulin G antibody titer to the serotype b polysaccharide was significantly higher in sera from LJP patients than in sera from periodontally healthy individuals. Moreover, LJP antibody titers to the serotype b polysaccharide exhibited age-dependent variation. Double immunodiffusion analysis revealed that the serotype b antigen formed a line of identity with low-molecular-weight LPS following reaction with serotype b-specific antiserum. Incubation of LJP serum in the presence of a lipid-free polysaccharide moiety obtained by mild acid hydrolysis of LPS from A. actinomycetemcomitans Y4 markedly reduced immunoglobulin G titer to the serotype b antigen. In contrast, solubilized lipid A was only weakly inhibitory. The results of this study indicate that the serotype b-specific determinant of A. actinomycetemcomitans resides in the polysaccharide moiety of LPS and represents a major target for immunoglobulin G antibody in serum of LJP subjects colonized by this organism.
PMCID: PMC257874  PMID: 1706323
16.  Multiplex PCR using conserved and species-specific 16S rRNA gene primers for simultaneous detection of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1996;34(11):2674-2678.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis are strongly associated with periodontitis. However, little is known about their distribution in periodontally healthy individuals, because culturing techniques are not sufficiently sensitive. A modified multiplex PCR was developed to address that question. Our method uses two species-specific forward primers in combination with a single reverse primer. These primers target variable and conserved regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Sensitivity was determined by testing serial dilutions of A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis cells. Primer specificity was tested against (i) six A. actinomycetemcomitans strains and four P. gingivalis strains, (ii) seven different species of oral bacteria, and (iii) supra- and subgingival plaque from 20 subjects. The multiplex PCR had a lower limit of detection of 2 A. actinomycetemcomitans and 30 P. gingivalis cells. Species-specific amplicons were obtained for all A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis strains tested and did not occur with seven other bacterial species unless A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis were added. Neither target species was detected in supragingival plaque; A. actinomycetemcomitans was detected in one subgingival specimen, and P. gingivalis was detected in another. When plaque samples were spiked with 10 A. actinomycetemcomitans cells and 100 P. gingivalis cells, species-specific amplicons were detected. These findings show our multiplex PCR to be highly sensitive and specific while allowing simultaneous detection of A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis. This assay has potential applications in epidemiological studies, diagnosis, treatment planning, and monitoring of periodontal pathogens.
PMCID: PMC229384  PMID: 8897163
17.  Periodontitis in established rheumatoid arthritis patients: a cross-sectional clinical, microbiological and serological study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(5):R222.
The association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and periodontitis is suggested to be linked to the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. Colonization of P. gingivalis in the oral cavity of RA patients has been scarcely considered. To further explore whether the association between periodontitis and RA is dependent on P. gingivalis, we compared host immune responses in RA patients with and without periodontitis in relation to presence of cultivable P. gingivalis in subgingival plaque.
In 95 RA patients, the periodontal condition was examined using the Dutch Periodontal Screening Index for treatment needs. Subgingival plaque samples were tested for presence of P. gingivalis by anaerobic culture technique. IgA, IgG and IgM antibody titers to P. gingivalis were measured by ELISA. Serum and subgingival plaque measures were compared to a matched control group of non-RA subjects.
A higher prevalence of severe periodontitis was observed in RA patients in comparison to matched non-RA controls (27% versus 12%, p < 0.001). RA patients with severe periodontitis had higher DAS28 scores than RA patients with no or moderate periodontitis (p < 0.001), while no differences were seen in IgM-RF or ACPA reactivity. Furthermore, RA patients with severe periodontitis had higher IgG- and IgM-anti P. gingivalis titers than non-RA controls with severe periodontitis (p < 0.01 resp. p < 0.05), although subgingival occurrence of P. gingivalis was not different.
Severity of periodontitis is related to severity of RA. RA patients with severe periodontitis have a more robust antibody response against P. gingivalis than non-RA controls, but not all RA patients have cultivable P. gingivalis.
PMCID: PMC3580533  PMID: 23075462
18.  Comparison of various detection methods for periodontopathic bacteria: can culture be considered the primary reference standard? 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1992;30(2):418-426.
The development of diagnostic tests for a periodontal infection raises the issue as to what the appropriate reference standard, or "gold standard," should be for the evaluation of a new test. The present research was initiated to compare the ability of several detection methods, i.e., a serial dilution anaerobic culture and/or microscopic procedure, a DNA probe procedure, and immunological reagents using both an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and an indirect immunofluorescence assay to detect Treponema denticola, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Bacteroides forsythus, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in subgingival plaque samples taken from 204 periodontally diseased tooth sites. The prevalence of the four monitored species varied as a function of both the species and the detection method. Spirochetes were present in 99% of the plaques, whereas A. actinomycetemcomitans was detected at the lowest frequency. The culture method yielded the lowest prevalence values for the three cultivable species. This raised the question as to which results, those obtained by culture or those obtained by the DNA probes and the immunological reagents, were the most reliable. This issue was addressed by looking at the prevalence profile of the monitored organisms, as determined by all the detection methods. If the species was detected by three or four of the detection methods, then it was considered present, whereas if it was absent by three or four of the detection methods, then it was considered absent. This approach showed the DNA probes and immunological reagents to be significantly superior (P less than 0.05) to the culture approach for the detection of P. gingivalis, A. actinomycetemcomitans, and B. forsythus and to be comparable to the microscopic approach in the detection of T. denticola.
PMCID: PMC265071  PMID: 1537912
19.  The immunodominant outer membrane antigen of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is located in the serotype-specific high-molecular-mass carbohydrate moiety of lipopolysaccharide. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(10):3451-3462.
Most patients with juvenile periodontitis manifest serum antibodies, sometimes at very high titers, to antigens of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, but the antigens inducing the immune response have been only partly characterized. We separated A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype b cells into protein, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and soluble polysaccharide fractions and characterized them. Coomassie blue- and silver-stained sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gels were used to detect protein and LPS components, and gas-liquid chromatography was used to determine their carbohydrate and fatty acid composition. Western blots, dot blots, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay inhibition with high-titer sera from juvenile periodontitis patients revealed which components were highest in antibody binding activity. These results showed that the major portion of the immunoglobulin G binding activity resides in the purified mannan-free LPS, with lesser amounts in the total protein fraction. Using Sephacryl S-300 chromatography, we separated LPS into high-molecular-mass components with high carbohydrate contents by gas-liquid chromatography and a low-molecular-mass component consisting mainly of lipid A and the inner core sugar heptulose. The results of quantitative dot blot assays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay inhibition show that the serotype-specific antibody binding activity is highly concentrated in the high-molecular-mass carbohydrate-rich LPS fraction and is almost completely absent in the low-molecular-weight lipid-rich fraction. Our observations contrast with previous reports that the predominant serotype antigen of A. actinomycetemcomitans resides in a mannan-rich polysaccharide isolated from spent culture medium. These observations support the conclusion that the immunodominant antigen of the outer membrane is the O antigen of the LPS.
PMCID: PMC258906  PMID: 1716610
20.  Acquisition and Colonization Stability of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis in Children 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(3):1196-1199.
The presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to be a risk factor for periodontitis in adults, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans has been implicated as a pathogen in early-onset periodontitis. Both species have been shown to establish stable colonization in adults. In cross-sectional studies, both A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis have been detected in over one-third of apparently healthy children. Information on the stability of colonization with these organisms in children could help to elucidate the natural history of the development of periodontitis. For this purpose, samples previously collected from a cohort of 222 children between the ages of 0 and 18 years and previously examined for the presence of P. gingivalis with a PCR-based assay were examined for the presence of A. actinomycetemcomitans. It was detected in 48% of subjects and, like P. gingivalis, was found at similar frequencies among children of all ages (P = 0.53), suggesting very early initial acquisition. One hundred one of the original subjects were recalled after 1 to 3 years to determine the continuing presence of both A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis. The prevalence of both species remained unchanged at resampling. However, in most children both species appeared to colonize only transiently, with random concordance between the results of the first and second sampling. Stability of colonization was unrelated to age for A. actinomycetemcomitans, but P. gingivalis was more stable in the late teenage years.
PMCID: PMC86374  PMID: 10699021
21.  Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Class, but Not IgA or IgM, Antibodies to Peptides of the Porphyromonas gingivalis Chaperone HtpG Predict Health in Subjects with Periodontitis by a Fluorescence Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2009;16(12):1766-1773.
Chaperones are molecules found in all cells and are critical in stabilization of synthesized proteins, in repair/removal of defective proteins, and as immunodominant antigens in innate and adaptive immunity. Subjects with gingivitis colonized by the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis previously demonstrated levels of anti-human chaperone Hsp90 that were highest in individuals with the best oral health. We hypothesized that similar antibodies to pathogen chaperones might be protective in periodontitis. This study examined the relationship between antibodies to P. gingivalis HtpG and clinical statuses of healthy and periodontitis-susceptible subjects. We measured the humoral responses (immunoglobulin G [IgG], IgA, and IgM) to peptides of a unique insert (P18) found in Bacteroidaceae HtpG by using a high-throughput, quantitative fluorescence enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Indeed, higher levels of IgG class anti-P. gingivalis HtpG P18 peptide (P < 0.05) and P18α, consisting of the N-terminal 16 amino acids of P18 (P < 0.05), were associated with better oral health; these results were opposite of those found with anti-P. gingivalis whole-cell antibodies and levels of the bacterium in the subgingival biofilm. When we examined the same sera for IgA and IgM class antibodies, we found no significant relationship to subject clinical status. The relationship between anti-P18 levels and clinical populations and individual subjects was found to be improved when we normalized the anti-P18α values to those for anti-P18γ (the central 16 amino acids of P18). That same ratio correlated with the improvement in tissue attachment gain after treatment (P < 0.05). We suggest that anti-P. gingivalis HtpG P18α antibodies are protective in periodontal disease and may have prognostic value for guidance of individual patient treatment.
PMCID: PMC2786377  PMID: 19793900
22.  Adhesion of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans to a human oral cell line. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(9):3672-3678.
Two quantitative, rapid assays were developed to study the adhesion of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, an oral bacterium associated with periodontal disease, to human epithelial cells. The human oral carcinoma cell line KB was grown in microtiter plates, and adherent bacteria were detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with purified anti-A. actinomycetemcomitans serum and horseradish peroxidase-conjugated secondary antibody or [3H]thymidine-labeled bacteria. Adhesion was found to be time dependent and increased linearly with increasing numbers of bacteria added. Variation in the level of adhesion was noted among strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Adhesion was not significantly altered by changes in pH (from pH 5 to 9) but was sensitive to sodium chloride concentrations greater than 0.15 M. Pooled human saliva was inhibitory for adhesion when bacteria were pretreated with saliva before being added to the cells. Pretreatment of the KB cells with saliva did not inhibit adhesion. Protease treatment of A. actinomycetemcomitans reduced adhesion of the bacteria to KB cells. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that a protein(s) is required for bacterial adhesion and that host components may play a role in modulating adhesion to epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC303017  PMID: 8063383
23.  Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and interleukin-8 production in mononuclear cells stimulated by oral microorganisms. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(11):4450-4455.
Chemokines are a family of low-molecular-weight proinflammatory cytokines that stimulate recruitment of leukocytes. The chemokines interleukin-8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) are relatively specific chemoattractants for neutrophils and monocytes, respectively. Chemokine expression contributes to the presence of different leukocyte populations observed in normal and pathologic states. In the present studies, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated by microbes (Candida albicans, Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans) selected based upon their importance as oral pathogens. IL-8 and MCP-1 gene expression and protein release were determined by Northern blot (RNA blot) analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. C. albicans, P. gingivalis, and A. actinomycetemcomitans induced high levels of production of both MCP-1 and IL-8. S. mutans was a strong inducer of MCP-1, but it did not stimulate significant production of IL-8. C. albicans, S. mutans, and A. actinomycetemcomitans were 500 to 5,000 times more potent than P. gingivalis in terms of MCP-1 production. In general, the microbe-to-PBMC ratios required for maximum gene expression of MCP-1 were lower than those for IL-8. However, for actual protein release of MCP-1 versus IL-8, differences in the effects of various microbe concentrations were observed only for A. actinomycetemcomitans. These results demonstrate that different oral pathogens induce specific dose-dependent patterns of chemokine gene expression and release. Such patterns may help explain the immunopathology of oral infections, particularly with regard to inflammatory leukocyte recruitment.
PMCID: PMC174397  PMID: 8890191
24.  Invasion of Human Vascular Endothelial Cells by Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans via the Receptor for Platelet-Activating Factor 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(9):5416-5419.
Strains of the periodontal pathogen Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans are variable with respect to display of phosphorylcholine (PC)-bearing antigens. We have examined strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans with and without PC to assess their ability to invade endothelial cells via the receptor for platelet-activating factor (PAF). Results of antibiotic protection assays indicate that PC-bearing A. actinomycetemcomitans invade human vascular endothelial cells by a mechanism inhibitable by CV3988, a PAF receptor antagonist, and by PAF itself. The invasive phenotype was verified by transmission electron microscopy. A PC-deficient strain of this organism was not invasive. This property, in addition to the established ability of A. actinomycetemcomitans to invade epithelial cells, may provide this organism with access to the systemic circulation. The ability of PC-bearing oral bacteria to access the circulation may also explain the elevated levels of anti-PC antibody in serum found in patients with periodontitis.
PMCID: PMC101808  PMID: 10948174
25.  Isolation of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Detection of Immunoglobulin A Specific to Fimbrial Antigen in Gingival Crevicular Fluid 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(8):2322-2325.
The present study evaluated the prevalence of Porphyromonas gingivalis and the correlation between the bacterial culture method and the detection of immunoglobulin A (IgA) specific to the P. gingivalis fimbrial antigen in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF). P. gingivalis was isolated from 78.3% of subgingival plaque samples obtained from active sites and 34.7% of those from inactive sites of periodontal patients. P. gingivalis was isolated from only 4.7% of healthy subjects (control group). Immunoglobulins specific to the P. gingivalis fimbrial antigen were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The overall agreement between the results of the P. gingivalis culture method and the results of specific IgA detection in periodontal patients was 71.7% for active sites and 58.7% for inactive sites. IgA specific to P. gingivalis was absent in GCF from all of the sites of healthy subjects. The results suggest that P. gingivalis is associated with the local production of specific IgA. The detection of IgA antibodies specific to P. gingivalis in GCF by ELISA may be used as a predictive parameter to reveal the early phase of the activation of recurrent periodontal infections.
PMCID: PMC105039  PMID: 9666013

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