Background/aims: Various microbiological methods have been used for testing bacterial markers for periodontitis and periodontal disease progression. Most studies have used only a limited number of well recognized bacterial species. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the association of 13 more recently identified bacterial species in a new panel in comparison with 12 previously more recognized periodontotopathogens ('old panel') using the 'checkerboard' DNA-DNA hybridization method.
Methods: Fifty individuals were chosen who showed at least one site with a probing pocket depth of 6 mm or more (disease) and bleeding on probing and at least one site with a probing pocket depth of 3 mm and without bleeding on probing (health). One diseased and one healthy site on each individual were sampled with the paperpoint technique and the samples were processed in the checkerboard technique against deoxigenin-labeled whole genomic probes to 25 subgingival species representing 12 well recognized and 13 newly identified periodontitis associated species.
Results: Twenty-four (out of 25) species were detected more frequently in the subgingival plaque of diseased than healthy sites both at score 1 (> 10(4)) and score 3 (> 10(5)). A significant difference at the higher score (score 3) was noticed for all species of the old panel except for three (Streptococcus intermedius, Selenomonas noxia, and Eikenella corrodens). Of the species in the new panel only Prevotella tannerae, Filifactor alocis, and Porphyromonas endodontalis showed a statistical significant difference between diseased and healthy sites.
Conclusion: It was concluded that P. tannerae, F. alocis, and P. endodontalis should be added to the 12 species used for routine diagnostics of periodontitis-associated bacterial flora.