Human Herpesviruses and Porphyromonas gingivalis Are Associated with Juvenile Periodontitis

Bryan S Michalowicz, Mauricio Ronderos, Renée Camara-Silva, Aldofo Contreras, Jørgen Slots

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85 Scopus citations


Background: Although herpesviruses have been associated with adult periodontitis, their relationship with juvenile periodontitis (JP) has not been established. This case-control study examined possible associations between JP and pathogenic bacteria, the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), and the Epstein-Barr type 1 virus (EBV-1). Methods: Subjects were participants in a larger survey of schoolchildren in North-Central Jamaica. Subgingival plaque samples from 15 subjects with JP, 20 with incipient periodontitis (IP), and 65 randomly-selected healthy controls were assayed for Porphyromonas gingivalis and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans using a 16S rRMA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identification method, and for HCMV and EBV-1 using nested PCR identification. Results: Strong bivariate associations were found between JP and P. gingivalis (odds ratio [OR] = 12.7; 95% CI = 2.6, 61.4), HCMV (OR = 10.0; 95% CI = 2.7, 36.3), and A. actinomycetemcomitans (OR = 8.0; 95% CI = 2.3, 27.5), but not EBV-1. In multivariate analyses, P. gingivalis remained a significant explanatory variable (OR = 7.8; 95% CI = 1.5, 40.9); however, the associations were marginal for HCMV (OR = 4.6; 95% CI = 0.9, 22.7), and non-significant for A. actinomycetemcomitans (OR = 2.0; 95% CI = 0.4, 9.7). The associations with JP and the extent of attachment loss were even stronger when both P. gingivalis and HCMV were detected together. P. gingivalis (OR = 3.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 12.0) and EBV-1 (OR = 3.3; 95% CI = 1.0, 10.3) were the only significant explanatory variables in the multivariate analysis of IP. Conclusions: P. gingivalis is the strongest and most stable indicator of periodontitis in Jamaican adolescents. Co-infection with P. gingivalis and HCMV appears to be particularly deleterious to periodontal health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-988
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Clinical trials, controlled
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Dental plaque/microbiology
  • Epstein-barr virus
  • Herpesvirus
  • Jamaica
  • Periodontitis, juvenile/microbiology


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