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J Med Microbiol. 1993 Sep;39(3):183-90.

Effect of co-aggregation on the pathogenicity of oral bacteria.

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Department of Microbiology, Nihon University, School of Dentistry at Matsudo, Chiba, Japan.


The pathogenicity of oral bacteria was studied by measuring the development of subcutaneous abscesses in mice after infection with Actinomyces viscosus and Streptococcus mitis either singly or as co-aggregated pairs. Heat-treated cells were also tested. The pathogenicity of the co-aggregates was examined in various viable and heat-treated combinations of the two bacterial species. More abscesses were formed by A. viscosus than S. mitis at all the bacterial concentrations tested. Also, abscess formation by co-aggregates of the two strains produced a higher percentage of abscess formation than those caused by infection with pure suspensions of A. viscosus or S. mitis. Co-aggregated cells were more resistant to phagocytosis and killing by neutrophils in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, A. viscosus in co-aggregates were resistant to killing after engulfment by neutrophils. These results suggest that oral bacteria that are able to co-aggregate may resist phagocytosis, and this ability may be linked with pathogenicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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