Detection of periodontal bacterial DNA in serum and synovial fluid in refractory rheumatoid arthritis patients

J Clin Periodontol. 2009 Dec;36(12):1004-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01496.x.


Aim: To identify periodontal bacterial DNA (PBDNA) by PCR in subgingival dental plaque (SDP), serum and synovial fluid (SF) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with periodontal disease (PD) patients and to explore the possible PBDNA transport pathways from mouth to joints.

Methods: This cross-sectional prolective study involved 19 subjects with RA and PD. Informed consent, health and dental questionnaires were obtained. SDP, SF and serum samples were obtained, and leucocytes were isolated from blood. DNA was extracted and PCR assays to detect main PD species were carried out. Cultures on agar plates and broth, from each sample, were performed.

Results: Hundred percentage of patients showed PBDNA in SDP and SF and 83.5% in serum. Prevotella intermedia (89.4% and 73.6%) and Porphyromonas gingivalis (57.8% and 42.1%) were the species most frequently detected in SDP and SF, respectively. In SDP, 4.05 different bacterial species were found followed by 1.19 in serum and 2.26 in SF. Culture onto agar plates and broth did not show any bacterial growth, leucocytes were not positive to PBDNA by PCR.

Conclusion: This study suggests that PBDNA could have a role on the RA aetiology. The possible pathway of transport of PBDNA from mouth to joints could be via the free form of DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / microbiology*
  • Biological Transport
  • Chronic Periodontitis / complications*
  • Chronic Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / blood
  • Dental Plaque / complications
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification
  • Prevotella intermedia / isolation & purification
  • Synovial Fluid / microbiology
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Bacterial