New biomarker panel for diagnosis of chronic periodontitis

Published: 2019-07-19


Facilitated by the ScilifeLab NGI, researchers from Karolinska Institutet, SciLifeLab and KTH have created a new biomarker panel for diagnosis of chronic periodontitis by sequencing salivary samples and mapping inflammatory mediators from affected patients.

Periodontitis is a common chronic inflammatory disease affecting the teeth and gums. Except leading to tooth loss it can also contribute to the development of various systemic diseases like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Despite the increased risk of systemic inflammatory conditions and the commonality of the disease not much is known about the salivary microbiota in patients with periodontisis or its association with host immune and inflammatory mediators.

In a recent study, facilitated by SciLifeLab NGI, researchers, including Tülay Yucel-Lindberg (Group leader/Karolinska Institutet) Anders F. Andersson (SciLifeLab/KTH) and Mikael Huss (SciLifeLabs Bioinformatics Platform, NBIS), tried to identify the key pathogens and their potential interactions with host’s inflammatory mediators in saliva samples by sequencing microbial 16S rRNA and measuring inflammatory mediator levels in both patients with periodontitis and healthy subjects.

The results showed that there was a significant difference in the salivary microbial community between affected and healthy patients. A number of microbes, including Eubacterium saphenum, Tannerella forsythia, Filifactor alocis, Streptococcus mitis/parasanguinis, Parvimonas micra, Prevotella sp., Phocaeicola sp. and Fretibacterium sp., was also identified as being more abundant in patients with periodontitis.

Links between the salivary microbiota and several inflammatory mediators/cytokines were identified which might serve as a future combined bacteria-host salivary biomarker panel for diagnosis of chronic periodontitis. Further studies are required to determine the effectiveness of the biomarker panel, however.

The study was published in Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology.