Tissue localization of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in human periodontitis. II. Correlation between immunofluorescence and culture techniques.

L. A. Christersson, U. M. Wikesjö, B. Albini, J. J. Zambon, R. J. Genco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations


Recent immunohistological studies have suggested that Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is present in the gingival tissues in juvenile periodontitis lesions. The present study examined tissue bound A. actinomycetemcomitans by bacterial culture and immunohistological demonstration of antigen in tissue. A total of 14 periodontitis lesions were examined. Eleven biopsies were obtained from gingiva adjacent to A. actinomycetemcomitans infected pockets, while the remaining three control biopsies were obtained from gingiva adjacent to pockets where subgingival A. actinomycetemcomitans infection could not be detected. Each biopsy was hemisected, one half was used for immunofluorescence microscopic examination while the other half was processed for culture of A. actinomycetemcomitans. The latter section was surface-disinfected, repeatedly washed and then minced to release bacteria from within the tissues. Aliquots from the serial washings and the minced tissue suspension were cultured on medium selective for A. actinomycetemcomitans. Surface disinfection and serial washings gradually decreased cultivable A. actinomycetemcomitans in the washings aliquots. Following tissue disruption, an increase in colony-forming units of A. actinomycetemcomitans was seen from eight of the 11 test biopsies. This bacterium could not be detected in washings or minced tissue suspensions from the control biopsies obtained from lesions in which subgingival A. actinomycetemcomitans was previously not detected. A positive correlation was seen between the presence of A. actinomycetemcomitans antigens in the gingival biopsies and; (1) A. actinomycetemcomitans colony-forming units released from the minced tissues (r = 0.90, p = 0.000), as well as; (2) the colony-forming units from the periodontal pocket (r = 0.62, P = 0.017).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-545
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

Cite this