Detection of Helicobacter pylori in dental plaque by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction

A. M H Nguyen, L. Engstrand, R. M. Genta, D. Y. Graham, F. A K El-Zaatari

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176 Scopus citations


To investigate whether the oral cavity is a potential reservoir and possible sanctuary for Helicobacter pylori, supragingival and subgingival plaques were analyzed by a Helicobacter genus-specific reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction based on the sequence data of H. pylori 16S rRNA. The amplified 500-bp DNA fragment was identified by ethidium bromide staining after agarose gel electrophoresis and by Southern hybridization. Twenty-five dyspeptic patients were studied. Histologic examination of gastric biopsy specimens revealed that 18 had H. pylori gastritis and 7 did not. For seven of the 18 (38.8%) patients with proven H. pylori gastritis, H. pylori was also identified in their dental plaque. None of the patients without H. pylori gastritis had H. pylori in their dental plaque. The detection of H. pylori in dental plaque suggests that this H. pylori colonization is not restricted to the gastric mucosa and that this ecological niche may serve as a possible sanctuary which may be responsible for reinoculation of the stomach after topical anti-H. pylori therapies such as bismuth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-787
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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