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J Clin Microbiol. 1999 Oct;37(10):3141-5.

Incidence of Prevotella intermedia and Prevotella nigrescens carriage among family members with subclinical periodontal disease.

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  • 1Institute of Anaerobic Bacteriology, Gifu University School of Medicine, Gifu 500-8705, Japan.


We established a typing system for Prevotella intermedia and Prevotella nigrescens using the combination of PCR ribotyping and arbitrarily primed PCR (AP-PCR) fingerprinting and applied this system to the study of intrafamilial incidence of these species in the oral cavity. PCR ribotyping followed by subtyping by AP-PCR fingerprinting was applied to each type strain of P. intermedia and P. nigrescens and 54 isolates (32 isolates of P. intermedia and 24 isolates of P. nigrescens) from extraoral infections, resulting in an excellent discriminatory power (discrimination index, 0.99) for both species. A total of 18 subjects from six families, with the subjects from each family comprising the mother, the father, and a child who had subclinical early-stage to moderate adult periodontitis or simple gingivitis and who carried P. intermedia or P. nigrescens, or both, were enrolled in the study of intrafamilial carriage. When 20 colonies per specimen of subgingival plaque, if available, were picked from primary culture, 115 P. intermedia and 178 P. nigrescens isolates were recovered from the 18 subjects. Among the subjects studied, family members shared the same subtype strain(s) but non-family members did not. Multiple subtypes were found in 8 (57%) of the 14 P. nigrescens-positive subjects but in only 3 (27%) of the 11 P. intermedia-positive subjects; the difference was, however, not statistically significant (P = 0.14). These results suggest that the combination of PCR ribotyping and AP-PCR fingerprinting is well suited for the epidemiological study of P. intermedia and P. nigrescens and that each family seems to carry a distinct subtype(s) of these species.

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