Localization of P. gingivalis in preterm delivery placenta

J Dent Res. 2009 Jun;88(6):575-8. doi: 10.1177/0022034509338032.


Increasing evidence suggests an association between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Although infection is considered as a risk factor for preterm delivery, the localization of oral bacteria or their antigens in chorioamnionitis placental tissue has never been demonstrated. This study was devised to test the hypothesis that periodontal pathogens may be present and affect human placenta in cases of chorioamnionitis. Using immunocytochemistry, we have identified the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis antigens in placental tissues. The antigens were detected in the placental syncytiotrophoblasts, chorionic trophoblasts, decidual cells, and amniotic epithelial cells, as well as the vascular cells. There was a substantial increase in immunostaining intensity of the tissues sectioned from women with chorioamnionitis compared to those experiencing normalterm pregnancy, p < 0.019 (Mann-Whitney test). These results suggest that P. gingivalis may commonly colonize placental tissue, and that the presence of the organism may contribute to preterm delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amnion / microbiology
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Chorioamnionitis / microbiology*
  • Decidua / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Placenta / microbiology*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology*
  • Premature Birth / microbiology*
  • Trophoblasts / microbiology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial