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J Periodontol. 2014 Feb;85(2):327-34. doi: 10.1902/jop.2013.130081. Epub 2013 May 9.

Antimicrobial resistance and prevalence of resistance genes of obligate anaerobes isolated from periodontal abscesses.

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  • 1Department of Stomatology, Hua Shan Hospital, Fudan University, Yangpu, Shanghai, China.



This study attempts to determine the antimicrobial resistance profiles of obligate anaerobic bacteria that were isolated from a periodontal abscess and to evaluate the prevalence of resistance genes in these bacteria.


Forty-one periodontal abscess samples were cultivated on selective and non-selective culture media to isolate the oral anaerobes. Their antibiotic susceptibilities to clindamycin, doxycycline, amoxicillin, imipenem, cefradine, cefixime, roxithromycin, and metronidazole were determined using the agar dilution method, and polymerase chain reaction assays were performed to detect the presence of the ermF, tetQ, nim, and cfxA drug resistance genes.


A total of 60 different bacterial colonies was isolated and identified. All of the isolates were sensitive to imipenem. Of the strains, 6.7%, 13.3%, 16.7%, and 25% were resistant to doxycycline, metronidazole, cefixime, and amoxicillin, respectively. The resistance rate for both clindamycin and roxithromycin was 31.7%. Approximately 60.7% of the strains had the ermF gene, and 53.3% of the amoxicillin-resistant strains were found to have the cfxA gene. Two nim genes that were found in eight metronidazole-resistant strains were identified as nimB.


In the present study, the Prevotella species are the most frequently isolated obligate anaerobes from periodontal abscesses. The current results show their alarmingly high resistance rate against clindamycin and roxithromycin; thus, the use of these antibiotics is unacceptable for the empirical therapy of periodontal abscesses. A brief prevalence of four resistance genes in the anaerobic bacteria that were isolated was also demonstrated.

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