Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) involvement in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) occurs in up to 80% of affected children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of bacterial DNA in synovial fluid, and to compare this with clinical and immunological findings in children with JIA, adults with persistent JIA, and adults with rheumatoid arthritis, in order to detect whether bacteria contribute to inflammation in TMJ arthritis. Synovial fluid and skin swab samples were collected from 30 patients (54 TMJs). Bacterial detection was performed using 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. Bacterial DNA was detected in 31 TMJs (57%) in 19 patients (63%). A positive statistically significant correlation was registered between bacterial DNA detected in TMJ synovial fluid and the following factors: total protein concentration in synovial fluid, interleukin 1β, tumour necrosis factor alpha, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and adiponectin, as well as the duration of the general medical disease. Fourteen different bacterial species were detected in synovial fluid. Bacterial DNA in TMJ synovial fluid without contamination was detected in more than 50% of the patients. Studies are needed to evaluate the consequences of this bacterial DNA in synovial fluid with regard to TMJ arthritis.
Keywords: bacteria; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; pyrosequencing; rheumatoid arthritis; temporomandibular joint.
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