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J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Nov;46(11):3599-606. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00431-08. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Root canal microbiota of teeth with chronic apical periodontitis.

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  • 1Faculty of Dentistry, Estácio de Sá University, Rua Alfredo Baltazar da Silveira, 580/Cobertura, Recreio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22790-701, Brazil.


Samples from infected root canals of 43 teeth with chronic apical periodontitis were analyzed for the presence and relative levels of 83 oral bacterial species and/or phylotypes using a reverse-capture checkerboard hybridization assay. Associations between the most frequently detected taxa were also recorded. The most prevalent taxa were Olsenella uli (74%), Eikenella corrodens (63%), Porphyromonas endodontalis (56%), Peptostreptococcus anaerobius (54%), and Bacteroidetes oral clone X083 (51%). When prevalence was considered only for bacteria present at levels >10(5), Bacteroidetes clone X083 was the most frequently isolated bacterium (37%), followed by Parvimonas micra (28%), E. corrodens (23%), and Tannerella forsythia (19%). The number of target taxa per canal was directly proportional to the size of the apical periodontitis lesion, with lesions >10 mm in diameter harboring a mean number of approximately 20 taxa. Several positive associations for the most prevalent taxa were disclosed for the first time and may have important ecological and pathogenic implications. In addition to strengthening the association of several cultivable named species with chronic apical periodontitis, the present findings using a large-scale analysis allowed the inclusion of some newly named species and as-yet-uncultivated phylotypes in the set of candidate pathogens associated with this disease.

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