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J Clin Periodontol. 2002 Jul;29(7):638-44.

Comparison of microbial cultivation and a commercial PCR based method for detection of periodontopathogenic species in subgingival plaque samples.

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Department of Microbiological Microbiology, University Hospital of Jena, Germany.



Microbiological laboratory procedures are involved in diagnosis and therapy control of progressive and refractory forms of periodontitis. In recent years techniques have been developed based on the detection of nucleic acids. The purpose of this study was to validate the commercially available micro-Dent(R) test which employs probes for A. actinomycetemcomitans, P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, B. forsythus and T. denticola.


122 plaque samples obtained from periodontal pockets with various depths from 33 early onset periodontitis (EOP) patients and 15 periodontally healthy subjects were analysed by cultivation and the microDent(R) kit.


Both cultivation and the nucleic acid based assay showed a positive correlation of pocket depth with the frequency and quantity of periodontopathogenic species. T. denticola was found only in pockets > 4 mm in EOP patients. Comparison of the two methods revealed that the microDent(R) kit identified both P. gingivalis and B. forsythus more often than did the cultivation method.


Nucleic acid techniques should replace cultivation methods as gold standard in microbiological diagnosis of progressive periodontitis. The micro-Dent(R) kit can be recommended for microbiological laboratories analysing subgingival plaque samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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