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Comparison of real-time PCR and culture of Porphyromonas gingivalis from subgingival plaque


, : Comparison of real-time PCR and culture of Porphyromonas gingivalis from subgingival plaque. Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology 103: C-189

Background: Quantitative anaerobic culturing is used to detect Porphyromonas gingivalis in periodontal pockets but this method lacks sufficient sensitivity and sometimes specificity. It is also laborious and some periodontal microorganisms are either uncultivable or require very specific growth conditions. We designed a Real-Time PCR assay for sensitive, specific, efficient, reproducible and rapid detection and quantification of P. gingivalis in subgingival plaque samples. The quantitative anaerobic culture technique was used as a reference to test for the efficacy of the Real-Time PCR. Methods: a Real-Time PCR assay was developed on the 16s rRNA sequences of P. gingivalis. The PCR was validated on pure cultures of P. gingivalis and other oral and non-oral bacteria. Subsequently subgingival plaque samples from 259 adult patients with periodontitis were tested with anaerobic culture and Real-Time PCR simultaneously. Results: The primers for P. gingivalis demonstrated specific amplification of only P. gingivalis DNA. The PCR detection sensitivity was 1 CFU. P. gingivalis was detected in 111 (43%) subgingival plaque samples by the culture method and in 118 samples (46%) by Real-Time PCR. The culture assay failed to detect P. gingivalis in seven samples from which the organism was detected by Real-Time PCR. Another twenty samples were also found to be positive (<10000 CFU/ml subgingival plaque sample) with the PCR and negative with the culture. This however was due to the detection limit of the culture (104 CFU/ml subgingival plaque sample). Conclusion: Real-Time PCR confirms quantitative culture of P. gingivalis and offers significant advantages with respect to rapidity and sensitivity to detect P. gingivalis in subgingival plaque.

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