Estimation of transmission of porphyromonas gingivalis from mother to child through saliva

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Introduction: Chronic periodontitis is an infectious disease. Porphyromonas gingivalis is the major pathogen associated with it and can be found in all ecosystems in the oral cavity. The presence of this organism is highly correlated with preterm and low birth weight babies. So, this study aimed to assess vertical transmission of P.gingivalis from pregnant women to their new born. Methods: Forty six pregnant women with chronic periodontitis were recruited for this cross-sectional study. Whole unstimulated saliva was collected from them before delivery and from their new-borns within forty eight hours of birth. Quantification of P.gingivalis in the saliva samples was carried out by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction. The obtained data were analysed by SPSS 16 program. Results: The results showed a significant correlation (P=0.002) between the number of P.gingivalis present in the mother’s saliva with that of the new-borns’ saliva. DNA copies of more than 5000/µl of P.gingivalis was found in 20 (43.5%) maternal saliva and 21 (45.7%) in new-borns’ saliva. Both Plaque index and Extent and Severity index showed no correlation (P>0.05) with DNA copies of P.gingivalis in new-borns’ saliva. Conclusions: The DNA copies of P.gingivalis found in new-borns’ saliva are in par with mother saliva, as the saliva sample obtained from new-borns’ were within forty eight hours of birth, no other environmental factor can have a direct role in its transmission. Thus, it can be concluded that P.gingivalis is vertically transmitted from mother to child.




Adhikari, K., Saimbi, C. S., & Gupta, B. P. (2018). Estimation of transmission of porphyromonas gingivalis from mother to child through saliva. Journal of the Nepal Medical Association, 56(212), 781–786.

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