Background and objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the time of infection by anaerobic gram-negative rods associated with periodontal disease, and to clarify their transmission from mother to child.
Material and methods: Seventy-eight Japanese children (including 10 siblings), aged from 3 to 9 years, and 68 mothers, were enrolled in this study. Colonization by 11 periodontal bacterial species was determined using polymerase chain reaction amplification of samples of subgingival plaque obtained from the children and their mothers.
Results: The detection rates of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythensis and Treponema denticola increased in children after the age of 6 years. We found a high consistency in colonization by P. gingivalis, T. denticola, Prevotella intermedia and Prevotella nigrescens in 9 of the 10 siblings. The average number of bacterial species in plaque samples harboring Fusobacterium nucleatum and/or Fusobacterium periodonticum was significantly greater than in those without, in both children and mothers. Kappa statistical analysis revealed that the detection of Capnocytophaga gingivalis, Capnocytophaga ochracea, Campylobacter rectus and T. denticola in children was consistent with that in the mother.
Conclusion: Periodontal bacterial colonization in Japanese children increased with age and was associated with F. nucleatum and/or periodonticum, and the bacterial flora in children was similar to that in their mothers.