Background: Microbial associations in aggressive periodontitis versus different ethnic origins are substantially unknown. We undertook this study to determine the prevalence of seven putative periodontopathogens in Korean patients and to evaluate microbial differences in localized and generalized aggressive periodontitis patients. Methods: Thirty-nine aggressive periodontitis patients between 20 and 35 years old (24 males and 15 females; mean age 29.6 years) were selected according to clinical criteria. The patients were subclassified into 17 localized and 22 generalized aggressive periodontitis patients. In each of the 39 individuals, subgingival plaque samples were collected from four diseased teeth (≥6 mm probing depth, 156 sites) and one healthy site (≤3 mm probing depth, 39 sites). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene fragments (about 530 bp) of plaque bacteria and their subsequent detection by dot-blot hybridization using specific oligonucleotide probes were performed to determine the presence of seven periodontopathogens. Results: The prevalences were 75% for Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, 94.2% for Tannerella forsythensis (formerly Bacteroides forsythus), 99.4% for Fusobacterium sp., 85.9% for Micromonas micros (formerly Peptostreptococcus micros), 96.8% for Porphyromonas gingivalis, 78.8% for Prevotella intermedia, and 96.8% for Treponema sp. The prevalences of these bacteria were significantly higher in diseased sites than in healthy sites. Logistic regression analysis showed that P. intermedia was more significantly associated with generalized aggressive periodontitis than the localized form, with an odds ratio of 3.28 (95% confidence interval 1.26-8.56, P=0.015). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that the seven periodontal pathogens analyzed are strongly associated with Korean aggressive periodontitis. In particular, P. intermedia are more significantly associated with generalized aggressive periodontitis, a more severe and progressive form, than with localized aggressive periodontitis.
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