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Eur J Oral Sci. 2010 Oct;118(5):466-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.2010.00765.x.

Molecular epidemiology and spatial distribution of Selenomonas spp. in subgingival biofilms.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


The aetiology of periodontal disease has been a field of intensive research in the past decades. Along with a variety of other putative pathogens, different members of the genus Selenomonas have repeatedly been associated with both generalized aggressive periodontitis and chronic periodontitis. For the present study, a specific oligonucleotide probe targeting the majority of all oral Selenomonas spp. was designed. Their prevalence was determined, using dot-blot hybridization, in a total of 742 subgingival samples collected from patients with generalized aggressive (n=62) and chronic periodontitis (n=82), and from periodontitis-resistant subjects (n=19). In addition, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and electron microscopy were performed to analyze the spatial arrangement of Selenomonas in subgingival biofilms collected from patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis. In the samples from patients, Selenomonas spp. showed a lower prevalence in both diseased groups compared with other putative pathogens, and a relatively high prevalence in the periodontitis-resistant group. Consequently, Selenomonas spp. do not seem to be suitable diagnostic marker organisms for periodontal disease. By contrast, FISH and electron microscopic analysis of periodontal carriers revealed that Selenomonas spp. appeared in large numbers in all parts of the collected biofilms and seemed, if present in a site from patients, to make a relevant contribution to their structural organization.

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