Serum antibody responses to periodontal microbiota in chronic and aggressive periodontitis: A postulate revisited

Andrew M. Hwang, Janet Stoupel, Romanita Celenti, Ryan T. Demmer, Panos N. Papapanou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: The authors revisited the 1999 International Workshop postulate of robust serum antibody responses to infecting agents in localized aggressive periodontitis (LAgP) and weak responses in generalized aggressive periodontitis (GAgP). Antibody responses were further examined in localized and generalized chronic periodontitis (LCP and GCP). Methods: The study includes 119 patients (60 males and 59 females, aged 11 to 76 years), 18 with LAgP, 37 with GAgP, 37 with LCP, and 27 with GCP. Multiple subgingival plaque samples/patient (1,057 in total) were analyzed with respect to 11 bacterial species using checkerboard DNADNA hybridizations, and serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G levels were measured against the same bacteria using checkerboard immunoblotting. Further, infection ratios (antibody level over the average bacterial colonization by the homologous species) were computed for each patient. Comparisons of bacterial colonization, serum IgG levels, and infection ratios were made across the diagnostic categories using multivariable linear regression models adjusting for age and race/ethnicity. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in serum IgG levels to Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans among the four diagnostic categories. IgG levels to several species, including Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, and Campylobacter rectus, were highest in patients with GAgP and significantly different from LCP and GCP, but not from LAgP. Comparisons based on infection ratios showed no statistically significant differences for any species between GAgP and LAgP. Conclusion: This study provides evidence against the 1999 Workshop's postulate of weak serum antibody responses in patients with GAgP and shows that serum IgG responses in GAgP are comparable to those in LAgP, but higher than in GCP or LCP for several species. J Periodontol 2014;85:592-600.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-600
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Classification
  • Diagnosis
  • Immunity
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Periodontal diseases.


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