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Pathogenicity of the highly leukotoxic JP2 clone of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and its geographic dissemination and role in aggressive periodontitis
Århus universitet.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Odontology. (Aa-gruppen)
2014 (English)In: Journal of Oral Microbiology, ISSN 2000-2297, E-ISSN 2000-2297, Vol. 6, 23980Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For decades, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans has been associated with aggressive forms of periodontitis in adolescents. In the middle of the 1990s, a specific JP2 clone of A. actinomycetemcomitans, belonging to the cluster of serotype b strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans and having a number of other characteristics, was found to be strongly associated with aggressive forms of periodontitis, particularly in North Africa. Although several longitudinal studies still point to the bacterial species, A. actinomycetemcomitans as a risk factor of aggressive periodontitis, it is now also widely accepted that the highly leukotoxic JP2 clone of A. actinomycetemcomitans is implicated in rapidly progressing forms of aggressive periodontitis. The JP2 clone strains are highly prevalent in human populations living in Northern and Western parts of Africa. These strains are also prevalent in geographically widespread populations that have originated from the Northwest Africa. Only sporadic signs of a dissemination of the JP2 clone strains to non-African populations have been found despite Africans living geographically widespread for hundreds of years. It remains an unanswered question if a particular host tropism exists as a possible explanation for the frequent colonization of the Northwest African population with the JP2 clone. Two exotoxins of A. actinomycetemcomitans are known, leukotoxin (LtxA) and cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt). LtxA is able to kill human immune cells, and Cdt can block cell cycle progression in eukaryotic cells and thus induce cell cycle arrest. Whereas the leukotoxin production is enhanced in JP2 clone strains thus increasing the virulence potential of A. actinomycetemcomitans, it has not been possible so far to demonstrate such a role for Cdt. Lines of evidence have led to the understanding of the highly leukotoxic JP2 clone of A. actinomycetemcomitans as an aetiological factor of aggressive periodontitis. Patients, who are colonized with the JP2 clone, are likely to share this clone with several family members because the clone is transmitted through close contacts. This is a challenge to the clinicians. The patients need intense monitoring of their periodontal status as the risk for developing severely progressing periodontal lesions are relatively high. Furthermore, timely periodontal treatment, in some cases including periodontal surgery supplemented by the use of antibiotics, is warranted. Preferably, periodontal attachment loss should be prevented by early detection of the JP2 clone of A. actinomycetemcomitans by microbial diagnostic testing and/or by preventive means.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Co-action news , 2014. Vol. 6, 23980
Keyword [en]
Virulence factors, spreading, geographical dissemination, leukotoxin, cytolethal distending toxin, host response
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area Dentistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-92568DOI: 10.3402/jom.v6.23980ISI: 000365673600001OAI: diva2:741611
Available from: 2014-08-28 Created: 2014-08-28 Last updated: 2015-12-28Bibliographically approved

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