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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 Oct 1;191(1):95-101.

A novel technique for monitoring the development of bacterial biofilms in human periodontal pockets.

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Robert Koch-Institut, Nordufer 20, Berlin, Germany.


A new technique is presented for analyzing subgingival bacterial plaque. Different materials (polytetrafluoroethylene, gold, dentin) kept for several days in periodontal pockets of patients suffering from periodontitis were analyzed by electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Those parts of the carriers extending into the deepest zone of the pockets were predominantly colonized by spirochetes and Gram-negative bacteria whereas those segments in contact with a shallower region were colonized by streptococci. Independent of the material used, the bacterial colonization of the carriers appears to be similar. FISH using eubacteria- and species-specific oligonucleotides on semi-thin cross-sections of the carriers in combination with confocal laser scanning microscopy allowed detailed analysis of the architecture of biofilms and identification of putative periodontal pathogens with single cell resolution.

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