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J Clin Periodontol. 2003 May;30(5):420-6.

Herpesviral-bacterial interactions in aggressive periodontitis.

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Human cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and herpesvirus co-infections occur with significantly higher frequency in actively progressing than in stable periodontitis sites of adolescents and young adults. Also, periodontal presence of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus is associated with increased occurrence of subgingival Porphyromonas gingivalis, Bacteroides forsythus, Dialister pneumosintes, Prevotella intermedia, Prevotella nigrescens, Treponema denticola and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans.


This article reviews the evidence linking herpesviruses to the development of aggressive periodontitis and suggests a potential mechanism for herpesviral acceleration of the periodontal disease process.


It seems to be a reasonable supposition that the etiopathogenesis of various types of aggressive periodontitis includes the combined action of herpesviruses and specific bacterial species. New vaccines and vaccination technologies that are being developed against herpesviruses warrant testing for their ability to induce a protective immune response against destructive periodontal disease. Clearly, the importance of combined herpesviral-bacterial infections and associated host responses in the development of periodontitis needs to be studied further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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