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Periodontal pathogen load and increased antibody response to heat shock protein 60 in patients with cardiovascular disease

Authors


  • Conflict of interest and source of funding

    The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. The study was funded by the Colgate Palmolive Company, USA.

Address:

Mary P. Cullinan

School of Dentistry

University of Otago

PO Box 647

Dunedin 9054

New Zealand

E-mail: mary.cullinan@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Aim

To determine the relationship between periodontal pathogen load and anti-human heat shock protein 60 (hHSP60) antibodies in patients with established cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Materials and Methods

Participants were cardiovascular patients (n = 74) with a previous hospital admission for myocardial infarction. Concurrent periodontal pathogen load of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Tannerella forsythia and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans was determined using quantitative real-time PCR. Serum antibodies to these pathogens, GroEL and hHSP60 were determined using an ELISA.

Results

There was a trend for increasing anti-hHSP60 antibody as the number of bacterial species increased. The strongest positive correlations were found between anti-hHSP60 levels and numbers of T. forsythia (r = 0.43; p < 0.001) and between anti-hHSP60 and anti-GroEL levels (r = 0.39; p = 0.001). Patients with extensive periodontal pocketing (≥4 mm) had higher numbers of P. gingivalis and T. forsythia (p < 0.05) and a higher subgingival pathogen load (p < 0.05) than patients with minimal pocketing (≤1 site ≥ 4 mm). They also had significantly elevated anti-hHSP60 levels (p < 0.05). Overall, the highest anti-hHSP60 levels were seen in patients with extensive periodontal pocketing and all four bacterial species.

Conclusions

In cardiovascular patients, a greater burden of subgingival infection with increased levels of P. gingivalis and T. forsythia is associated with modestly higher anti-hHSP60 levels.

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