Antibiotic resistance of subgingival species in chronic periodontitis patients

J Periodontal Res. 2010 Aug;45(4):557-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0765.2010.01274.x. Epub 2010 Jun 10.


Background and objective: The increasing rate of resistance of microorganisms to penicillin and other antibiotics has generated concern among health authorities in Latin America. The present investigation determined the in vitro susceptibility of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, black-pigmented Prevotella spp. and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans to metronidazole, amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, clindamycin and moxifloxacin in patients with chronic periodontitis.

Material and methods: Subgingival plaque samples from patients with periodontitis were collected and cultured on selective and nonselective culture media. The antimicrobial susceptibility of periodontopathogenic isolates was studied in chronic periodontitis patients in Colombia. Metronidazole, amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, clindamycin and moxifloxacin were tested on all bacterial isolates and the percentage of resistant strains was calculated.

Results: Of the 150 bacteria identified, 51 were P. gingivalis, 45 were black-pigmented Prevotella spp., 36 were F. nucleatum and 18 were A. actinomycetemcomitans. All the isolates were sensitive to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and to moxifloxacin, but exhibited variable susceptibility patterns to the other antimicrobial agents tested.

Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that periodontal microorganisms in patients with chronic periodontitis can be resistant to the antimicrobial agents commonly used in anti-infective periodontal therapy. We suggest that the indiscriminate use of antimicrobials could result in the appearance of more highly antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria associated with periodontal diseases in our population compared with the populations of other countries.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / drug effects*
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / isolation & purification
  • Amoxicillin / therapeutic use
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination / therapeutic use
  • Ampicillin Resistance
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aza Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Chronic Periodontitis / drug therapy
  • Chronic Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Clindamycin / therapeutic use
  • Colombia
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Female
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / drug effects*
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / isolation & purification
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / classification
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / classification
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / microbiology
  • Periodontal Pocket / classification
  • Periodontal Pocket / microbiology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification
  • Prevotella / drug effects*
  • Prevotella / isolation & purification
  • Quinolines / therapeutic use
  • beta-Lactam Resistance


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Aza Compounds
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Quinolines
  • Metronidazole
  • Clindamycin
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination
  • Amoxicillin
  • Moxifloxacin