Patterns of salivary analytes provide diagnostic capacity for distinguishing chronic adult periodontitis from health

J Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;33(1):271-9. doi: 10.1007/s10875-012-9771-3. Epub 2012 Aug 29.


Salivary biomarker discovery requires identification of analytes with high discriminatory capacity to distinguish disease from health, including day-to-day variations that occur in analyte levels. In this study, seven biomarkers associated with inflammatory and tissue destructive processes of periodontal disease were investigated. In a prospective cohort study design, analyte expression levels were determined in unstimulated whole saliva samples collected on multiple occasions from 30 healthy adults (i.e., orally and systemically) and 50 chronic adult periodontitis patients. Salivary levels of IL-1β, IL-6, MMP-8, and albumin were significantly elevated (5.4 to 12.6X) and levels of IFNα were consistently lower (8.7X) in periodontitis patients compared with the daily variation observed in healthy adults. ROC analyses of IL-1β, IL-6 and MMP-8 yielded areas under the curves of 0.963-0.984 for discriminating periodontitis from health. These results demonstrate that levels of salivary bioanalytes of patients who have periodontitis are uniquely different from normal levels found in healthy subjects, and a panel consisting of IL-1β, MMP-8 and IL-6 shows particular diagnostic potential.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Albumins / analysis
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dinoprostone / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / analysis
  • Interleukin-1beta / analysis
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8 / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontitis / diagnosis*
  • Periodontitis / immunology
  • Periodontitis / metabolism
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards*
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Albumins
  • Biomarkers
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8
  • Dinoprostone