Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans strains showing a 530-bp deletion in the promoter region of the leukotoxin gene operon elaborate high amounts of leukotoxin that may play a role in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. This study used polymerase chain reaction detection to determine the occurrence of the 530-bp deletion in 94 A. actinomycetemcomitans strains from individuals of various ethnic backgrounds. Eleven blacks and one Hispanic subject but no Caucasian or Asian subjects showed the 530-bp deletion in the leukotoxin promoter region, suggesting that the deletion is mainly a characteristic of individuals of African descent. A. actinomycetemcomitans strains exhibiting a deletion in the leukotoxin promoter region occurred both in individuals having severe periodontitis and in adolescents revealing no evidence of destructive periodontal disease.
- Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans
- Leukotoxin operon
- Periodontal disease
- Polymerase chain reaction