Detection of herpesviruses and periodontal pathogens in subgingival plaque of patients with chronic periodontitis, generalized aggressive periodontitis, or gingivitis

J Periodontol. 2008 Dec;79(12):2313-21. doi: 10.1902/jop.2008.070388.


Background: Herpesviruses may be related to the etiology of aggressive periodontitis (AgP) and chronic periodontitis (CP) by triggering periodontal destruction or by increasing the risk for bacterial infection. This case-control study evaluated the presence of herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1), Epstein-Barr virus type I (EBV-1), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (previously Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans), Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Tannerella forsythia (previously T. forsythensis) in patients with generalized AgP (AgP group), CP (CP group), or gingivitis (G group) and in healthy individuals (C group).

Methods: Subgingival plaque samples were collected with paper points from 30 patients in each group. The nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was used to detect HSV-1, EBV-1, and HCMV. Bacteria were identified by 16S rRNA-based PCR.

Results: HSV-1, HCMV, and EBV-1 were detected in 86.7%, 46.7%, and 33.3% of the AgP group, respectively; in 40.0%, 50.0%, and 46.7% of the CP group, respectively; in 53.3%, 40.0%, and 20.0% of the G group, respectively; and in 20.0%, 56.7%, and 0.0% of the C group, respectively. A. actinomycetemcomitans was detected significantly more often in the AgP group compared to the other groups (P <0.005). P. gingivalis and T. forsythia were identified more frequently in AgP and CP groups, and AgP, CP, and G groups had higher frequencies of P. intermedia compared to the C group.

Conclusion: In Brazilian patients, HSV-1 and EBV-1, rather than HCMV, were more frequently associated with CP and AgP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / isolation & purification
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / virology
  • Bacteroides / isolation & purification
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Chronic Periodontitis / virology
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Dental Plaque / virology
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / microbiology*
  • Gingivitis / virology
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / isolation & purification
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbiological Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / microbiology
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / virology
  • Periodontal Pocket / microbiology
  • Periodontal Pocket / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification
  • Prevotella intermedia / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis
  • Young Adult


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S