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Int J Oral Sci. 2011 Oct;3(4):209-15. doi: 10.4248/IJOS11075.

Presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis in gingival squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Periodontal disease has been recently linked to a variety of systemic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, preterm delivery, and oral cancer. The most common bacteria associated with periodontal disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) has not yet been studied in the malignant gingival tissues. The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of P. gingivalis in specimens from squamous cell carcinoma patients. We have performed immunohistochemical staining to investigate the presence of P. gingivalis and Streptococcus gordonii (S. gordonii), a non invasive oral bacteria, in paraffin embedded samples of gingival squamous cell carcinoma (n = 10) and normal gingiva (n = 5). Staining for P. gingivalis revealed the presence of the bacteria in normal gingival tissues and gingival carcinoma, with higher levels (more than 33%, P < 0.05) detected in the carcinoma samples. The staining intensity was also significantly enhanced in the malignant tissue by 2 folds (P < 0.023) compared to specimens stained for the non-invasive S. gordonii. P. gingivalis is abundantly present in malignant oral epithelium suggesting a potential association of the bacteria with gingival squamous cell carcinoma.

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