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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2013 Oct-Dec;26(4):931-9.

Periodontal bacteria in the genital tract: are they related to adverse pregnancy outcome?

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Department of Odontostomatologic and Maxillofacial Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
Department of Clinical Science and Translational Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
School of Pharmacy, Microbiology Unit, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy.


One of the most important factors implicated in preterm birth (PTB) is acute genitourinary tract infection. The bacteria causing chronic periodontal inflammation include Gram-negative rods and anaerobes similar to those found in women with bacterial vaginosis. The aim of this prospective study is to investigate the relationship between oral and vaginal microflora and preterm low birth weight. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to detect both the presence and level of six periodontitis-related species: Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa), Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), Tannerella forsythia (Tf), Treponema denticola (Td), Fusobacterium nucleatum ssp(Fn), and Prevotella intermedia (Pi) for both oral samples of subgingival plaque and cervical samples, obtained from 80 patients, during gynaecological examinations. The more representative oral pathogen (less than 60 percent) species in oral samples of preterm and term group were Tf, Td, and Fn. 24.4 percent of pregnant women presented periodontal pathogens in vaginal swab; the most representative species with a percentage over 0.1 percent of total bacteria in genital tract of preterm group were Tf, Td, and Piwith a positive correlation (less than 0.5). The presence of the bacterium T. denticolain the vagina, regardless of the amount, adversely affects preterm delivery.

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