In humans, one of the major factors associated with infective endocarditis (IE) is the concurrent presence of periodontal disease (PD). However, in veterinary medicine, the relevance of PD in the evolution of dogs' endocarditis remains poorly understood. In order to try to establish a correlation between mouth-associated Enterococcus spp. and infective endocarditis in dogs, the present study evaluated the presence and diversity of enterococci in the gum and heart of dogs with PD. Samples were collected during necropsy of 32 dogs with PD and visually diagnosed with IE, which died of natural causes or euthanasia. Enterococci were isolated, identified and further characterized by Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE); susceptibility to antimicrobial agents and pathogenicity potential was also evaluated. In seven sampled animals, PFGE-patterns, resistance and virulence profiles were found to be identical between mouth and heart enterococci obtained from the same dog, allowing the establishment of an association between enterococcal periodontal disease and endocarditis in dogs. These findings represent a crucial step towards understanding the pathogenesis of PD-driven IE, and constitute a major progress in veterinary medicine.
Semedo-Lemsaddek, T., Tavares, M., Braz, B. S., Tavares, L., & Oliveira, M. (2016). Enterococcal infective endocarditis following periodontal disease in dogs. PLoS ONE, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146860