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J Periodontal Res. 1989 May;24(3):192-8.

Heterogeneity of virulence among strains of Bacteroides gingivalis.


The ability of fresh isolates of B. gingivalis to establish abscesses in the mouse model was studied by comparing them with established laboratory strains of B. gingivalis. Eight fresh isolates obtained from plaque associated with periodontal disease and grown under similar conditions as established strains were injected subcutaneously on the back of the mouse. All of these strains produced secondary lesions on the abdomen. Septicemia was associated with seven of the strains. Two commonly used laboratory strains, W50 and W83, also produced secondary lesions and septicemia. Five other laboratory strains produced only localized abscesses. On histologic examination, the strains that produced disseminated disease showed invasion of connective disease by individual bacteria that were not in clumps. The strains that produced localized abscesses were characterized by growing in colonies or clumps in the abscess cavity. Four synthetic enzyme substrates were examined to determine whether the differences between invasive and non-invasive strains were due to differences in proteolytic enzyme production. No differences in enzyme production could be demonstrated with the selected substrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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