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J Clin Microbiol. 1996 Jun;34(6):1576-8.

Highly toxic clone of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in geographically widespread cases of juvenile periodontitis in adolescents of African origin.

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  • 1Department of Oral Biology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


The bacterium Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans has been implicated in the pathogenesis of juvenile periodontitis as the etiologic agent on the basis of several lines of circumstantial evidence. A matter of extensive debate is whether A. actinomycetemcomitans is an exogenous contagious pathogen or an opportunistic pathogen that resides in the normal oral microflora. Here we show evidence of a single clone of A. actinomycetemcomitans isolated from multiple patients with juvenile periodontitis in members of families of African origin living in geographically widespread areas. The clone is characterized by a 530-bp deletion in the leukotoxin gene operon, resulting in a significantly increased production of leukotoxin.

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