PCR detection of 5 putative periodontal pathogens in dental plaque samples from children 2 to 12 years of age

J Clin Periodontol. 2001 Jun;28(6):576-82. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-051x.2001.028006576.x.


Background, aims: The purpose of this study was to detect the presence of Prevotella intermedia, P. nigrescens, Bacteroides forsythus, Treponema denticola, and Campylobacter rectus in plaque samples from 119 children, collected from their toothbrushes using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Method: The subjects were 24, 83, and 12 children with healthy gingiva, gingivitis, and periodontitis, respectively, ranging in age from 2-12 years old. Plaque samples were collected from all erupted teeth sites using a sterile toothbrush. The mean concentration of DNA recovered from the plaque samples was approximately 640 microg/ml, which was deemed sufficient for performing a PCR-based survey.

Results: The prevalence by PCR in healthy, gingivitis, and periodontitis subjects was 0.0%, 6.0% and 25.0% for P. intermedia, 45.8%, 79.5% and 50.0% for P. nigrescens, 33.3%, 63.9% and 58.3% for B. forsythus, 0.0%, 18.1% and 16.7% for T. denticola, and 100% in duplicate for C. rectus, respectively.

Conclusion: Our survey indicated that P. intermedia and T. denticola were more associated with periodontal diseases, B. forsythus and P. nigrescens had a moderate prevalence in all clinical groups, while C. rectus were the most commonly detected species in the oral cavities of children suggesting establishment in their early years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Bacteroides / classification*
  • Campylobacter / classification*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Gingiva / microbiology
  • Gingivitis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevotella / classification*
  • Prevotella intermedia / classification
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation
  • Treponema / classification*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial