Environmental stimuli shape biofilm formation and the virulence of periodontal pathogens

Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Aug 20;14(8):17221-37. doi: 10.3390/ijms140817221.


Periodontitis is a common inflammatory disease affecting the tooth-supporting structures. It is initiated by bacteria growing as a biofilm at the gingival margin, and communication of the biofilms differs in health and disease. The bacterial composition of periodontitis-associated biofilms has been well documented and is under continual investigation. However, the roles of several host response and inflammation driven environmental stimuli on biofilm formation is not well understood. This review article addresses the effects of environmental factors such as pH, temperature, cytokines, hormones, and oxidative stress on periodontal biofilm formation and bacterial virulence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biofilms*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / physiology*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / physiology*
  • Hemin / metabolism
  • Hormones / physiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Periodontitis / immunology
  • Periodontitis / metabolism
  • Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Virulence


  • Hormones
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Hemin
  • Iron