Validation of a noninvasive aMMP-8 point-of-care diagnostic methodology in COVID-19 patients with periodontal disease

Clin Exp Dent Res. 2022 Aug;8(4):988-1001. doi: 10.1002/cre2.589. Epub 2022 Jul 11.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to validate an active matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-8) point-of-care diagnostic tool in COVID-19 patients with periodontal disease.

Subjects, materials, and methods: Seventy-two COVID-19-positive and 30 COVID-19-negative subjects were enrolled in the study. Demographic data were recorded, periodontal examination carried out, and chairside tests run for evaluating the expression of active MMP-8 (aMMP-8) in the site with maximum periodontal breakdown via gingival crevicular fluid sampling as well as via a mouth rinse-based kit for general disease activity. In COVID-19-positive patients, the kits were run again once the patients turned COVID-19 negative.

Results: The overall (n = 102) sensitivity/specificity of the mouthrinse-based kits to detect periodontal disease was 79.41%/36.76% and that of site-specific kits was 64.71%/55.88% while adjusting for age, gender, and smoking status increased the sensitivity and specificity (82.35%/76.47% and 73.53%/88.24, respectively). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis for the adjusted model revealed very good area under the ROC curve 0.746-0.869 (p < .001) and 0.740-0.872 (p < .001) (the aMMP-8 mouth rinse and site-specific kits, respectively). No statistically significant difference was observed in the distribution of results of aMMP-8 mouth rinse test (p = .302) and aMMP-8 site-specific test (p = .189) once the subjects recovered from COVID-19.

Conclusions: The findings of the present study support the aMMP-8 point-of-care testing (PoCT) kits as screening tools for periodontitis in COVID-19 patients. The overall screening accuracy can be further increased by utilizing adjunctively risk factors of periodontitis. The reported noninvasive, user-friendly, and objective PoCT diagnostic methodology may provide a way of stratifying risk groups, deciding upon referrals, and in the institution of diligent oral hygiene regimens.

Keywords: SARS CoV-2; biomarkers; oral health; periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8 / metabolism
  • Mouthwashes
  • Periodontal Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Periodontitis* / diagnosis
  • Point-of-Care Testing


  • Mouthwashes
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8