Distribution of periodontopathic bacterial species between saliva and tonsils

Ryota Nomura, Yasuyuki Nagasawa, Taro Misaki, Seigo Ito, Shuhei Naka, Mieko Okunaka, Maiko Watanabe, Kenzo Tsuzuki, Michiyo Matsumoto-Nakano, Kazuhiko Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Periodontopathic bacteria cause an inflammatory disease localized in the periodontal tissue and are associated with various conditions in other body parts. The distribution of periodontopathic bacterial species in the tonsils is unknown, even though the tonsils are located close to the oral cavity, and inflammation of the tonsils causes various systemic diseases. We detected the major periodontopathic bacterial species residing in saliva and tonsil specimens from 25 subjects undergoing tonsillectomy. Nine of the ten major periodontopathic bacterial species were detected by polymerase chain reaction of tonsil specimens, among which Campylobacter rectus was the most common (80.0%), followed by Porphyromonas gingivalis (36.0%). The other seven types of periodontopathic bacterial species were distributed with 0% to 25.0% abundance in the tonsil specimens. C. rectus had a high detection rate in tonsil specimens (> 75.0%), regardless of whether it was detected in the corresponding saliva specimens. However, the detection rate for P. gingivalis in tonsil specimens was significantly higher in subjects with P. gingivalis-positive saliva (77.8%) than in those with P. gingivalis-negative saliva (6.3%; P < 0.001). Furthermore, 75.0% of P. gingivalis in tonsil specimens did not have the known fimA gene that encodes the 41-kDa filamentous appendage protein FimA, which is expressed on the cell surface of the bacteria. Our results suggest that certain periodontopathic bacterial species are detected in the tonsils either independently of or depending on their distribution in the oral cavity and may be involved in tonsil-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Campylobacter rectus
  • Fimbriae
  • Palatine tonsil
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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