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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 1991 Dec;6(6):363-72.

Sensitivity of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Haemophilus aphrophilus to oxidative killing.

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UCLA School of Dentistry, Center for the Health Sciences.


We examined the killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Haemophilus aphrophilus by oxygen metabolites generated by the xanthine-xanthine oxidase (X-XO) system. This system generates a mixture of oxidants, including superoxide radical, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, and possibly singlet oxygen. Differential sensitivity to the X-XO system was observed among strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans; notably, 2 catalase-deficient strains and 2 strains representative of serotypes b and c were the most susceptible. H. aphrophilus was not sensitive. The amount of oxidants produced by the X-XO system more closely correlated with killing than the ratio of oxidant production. Cytochrome c, superoxide dismutase, catalase, dimethyl sulfoxide, and desferrioxamine were used to determine the role of superoxide radical, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical in the bactericidal process. Hydrogen peroxide was the major bactericidal agent against A. actinomycetemcomitans. Superoxide anion participated in killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans to varying but lesser degrees. The intracellular generation of hydroxyl radical was implicated in the killing of several strains. We conclude that (i) strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans are differentially sensitive to the bactericidal effects of the X-XO system and (ii) of the oxidants produced by the X-XO system, hydrogen peroxide is the most bactericidal against A. actinomycetemcomitans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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