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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2009 Feb;24(1):64-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-302X.2008.00479.x.

Detection of oral bacteria in cardiovascular specimens.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Division of Oral Infection and Disease Control, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Suita, Osaka, Japan.



Oral bacteria, including cariogenic and periodontal pathogens, are thought to be etiological factors in the development of cardiovascular diseases. To define this relationship, we analyzed the distribution of oral bacterial species in cardiovascular specimens.


Following acceptance into the study, 203 consecutive patients were analyzed, from whom 82 aortic valve specimens, 35 mitral valve specimens, and 86 aortic aneurysmal wall specimens, of which 16 contained aneurysmal thrombus tissues, were obtained. In addition, a total of 58 dental plaque specimens were collected from the same group of patients who underwent heart valve replacement or removal of aortic aneurysms. Bacterial DNA was extracted from both cardiovascular tissues and dental plaque in those cases and then species-specific polymerase chain reaction assays were used to analyze the occurrences of six oral streptococcal and six periodontal bacterial species.


Streptococcus mutans was the most frequently detected species in the cardiovascular specimens, followed by Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. As for dental plaque specimens from patients who underwent cardiovascular operations, most of the tested periodontitis-related species as well as oral streptococci were detected at high frequencies. Furthermore, the positive rate of S. mutans in cardiovascular specimens from patients whose dental plaque specimens were also positive for S. mutans was 78%, which was significantly higher than any other tested species when the same analysis was performed.


Our results suggest that specific oral bacterial species, such as S. mutans and A. actinomycetemcomitans, are related to bacteremia and may be etiologic factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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