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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2004 Aug;19(4):224-9.

Distribution of fimA genotypes of Porphyromonas gingivalis in subjects with various periodontal conditions.

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Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Fimbria encoded by the gene fimA is considered one of the main factors in the colonization of the oral cavity by Porphyromonas gingivalis. Allelic variation in fimA led to the classification of strains of P. gingivalis into six genotypes. The occurrence of P. gingivalis was determined by polymerase chain reaction using 16S rRNA primers in 302 subgingival samples obtained from 102 Brazilian subjects exhibiting different periodontal conditions. Distribution of fimA genotypes was assessed in 146 P. gingivalis positive samples by polymerase chain reaction using primers pairs homologous to the different fimA genes. P. gingivalis was detected in 51 of 57 (89.4%) patients with periodontal attachment loss, in six of 20 gingivitis patients (30.0%) and in two of 25 (8.0%) subjects with a healthy periodontium. Variant type II was the only type detected in 53 sites (39.3%), distributed among 19 periodontitis patients (37.3%) and in one patient with no periodontal destruction. Type Ib was the second most prevalent genotype in periodontitis patients (19.6%). Genotype V was not detected in the studied population. Type IV was the most commonly type found among gingivitis patients, either alone or in combination with other genotypes. Multiple genotypes were detected in nine sites (6.1%). A fimA genotype was not identified in 26 sites (17.8%) of 146 sites positive for P. gingivalis, suggesting that other alleles of fimA not yet sequenced may be prevalent in this population. These data demonstrated that P. gingivalis type II strains followed by type Ib are more prevalent in periodontitis patients from a multiracial population in Brazil, suggesting an increased pathogenic potential of these types.

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