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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2004 Jun;19(3):205-9.

Comparison of inflammatory changes caused by Porphyromonas gingivalis with distinct fimA genotypes in a mouse abscess model.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka, Japan.


The fimA gene of Porphyromonas gingivalis, encoding fimbrillin (a subunit protein of fimbriae) has been classified into six genotypes (types I-V and Ib). The genotypic variation was previously suggested to be related to the severity of adult periodontitis in the general population. In this study, we compared inflammatory changes caused by bacterial infection to study pathogenic heterogeneity among the different fimA strains in a mouse abscess model. Bacterial suspensions of 13 P. gingivalis strains representing the six fimA types were subcutaneously injected into female BALB/c mice, and serum sialic acid concentrations were assayed as a quantitative host inflammatory parameter. Type II fimA organisms caused the most significant induction of serum sialic acid, as well as other infectious symptoms, followed by types Ib, IV and V. In contrast, types I and III caused weak inflammatory changes. In addition, fimA mutants of type II strains clearly lost their infectious ability. These findings suggest that fimA genotypic variation affects expression of P. gingivalis virulence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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