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Keywords:

  • apical periodontitis;
  • Enterococcus faecalis;
  • propidium monoazide;
  • viable cell

ABSTRACT

To discriminate between viable and non-viable Enterococcus faecalis, the predominant pathogen in apical periodontitis, a real-time PCR method combined with propidium monoazide (PMA) was developed and evaluated. PMA had no antimicrobial effect on E. faecalis cells and permitted enumeration of both viable and non-viable cells. Therefore, E. faecalis cells from the root canals of nine patients with apical periodontitis were analyzed to evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of this approach. Viable and non-viable E. faecalis cells were successfully discriminated in these clinical specimens. A real-time PCR assay combined with PMA will contribute to the precise diagnosis of apical periodontitis.