A consortium of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Streptococcus parasanguinis, and Filifactor alocis is present in sites prior to bone loss in a longitudinal study of localized aggressive periodontitis

J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Sep;51(9):2850-61. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00729-13. Epub 2013 Jun 19.


Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans-induced localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP) in African-American adolescents has been documented but is poorly understood. Two thousand fifty-eight adolescents aged 11 to 17 years were screened for their periodontal status and the presence of A. actinomycetemcomitans in their oral cavity. Seventy-one A. actinomycetemcomitans-negative and 63 A. actinomycetemcomitans-positive periodontally healthy subjects were enrolled, sampled, examined, and radiographed yearly for 3 years. Gingival and periodontal pocket depth and attachment levels were recorded. Disease presentation was characterized by bone loss (BL). Subgingival sites were sampled every 6 months to assess (i) the role of A. actinomycetemcomitans in BL and (ii) the association of A. actinomycetemcomitans and other microbes in their relationships to BL. Sixteen of 63 subjects with A. actinomycetemcomitans developed BL (the other 47 subjects with A. actinomycetemcomitans had no BL). No A. actinomycetemcomitans-negative subjects developed BL. Human oral microbe identification microarray (HOMIM) was used for subgingival microbial assessment. On a subject level, pooled data from A. actinomycetemcomitans-positive subjects who remained healthy had higher prevalences of Streptococcus and Actinomyces species, while A. actinomycetemcomitans-positive subjects with BL had higher prevalences of Parvimonas micra, Filifactor alocis, A. actinomycetemcomitans, and Peptostreptococcus sp. human oral taxon 113 (HOT-113). At vulnerable sites, A. actinomycetemcomitans, Streptococcus parasanguinis, and F. alocis levels were elevated prior to BL. In cases where the three-organism consortium (versus A. actinomycetemcomitans alone) was detected, the specificity for detecting sites of future BL increased from 62% to 99%, with a sensitivity of 89%. We conclude that detecting the presence of A. actinomycetemcomitans, S. parasanguinis, and F. alocis together indicates sites of future BL in LAP. A synergistic interaction of this consortium in LAP causation is possible and is the subject of ongoing research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / growth & development*
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / complications*
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Aggressive Periodontitis / pathology
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / microbiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Microbial Consortia*
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss
  • Periodontal Pocket