Treatment resistance of rheumatoid arthritis relates to infection of periodontal pathogenic bacteria: a case–control cross-sectional study

Kazu Takeuchi-Hatanaka, Yoshinobu Koyama, Kentaro Okamoto, Kyosuke Sakaida, Tadashi Yamamoto, Shogo Takashiba

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have shown that periodontitis is associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and periodontal bacteria, such as Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) and Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) are involved in the pathogenesis of RA via citrullinated proteins. Smoking has also been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of RA; however, the extent of this involvement is still poorly understood. In addition, RA and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) are sometimes difficult to differentiate; however, the relationship between PMR and the factors from smoking and periodontal bacteria is unclear. The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between periodontal pathogenic bacterial infections and smoking in patients with RA or PMR. This case–control study included 142 patients with untreated RA or PMR. This study evaluated the serum antibody titers against periodontal pathogenic bacterial antigens and an anti-citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA). In patients with RA, the relationship between antibody titers and disease activity of RA and response after 3 months of treatment was also investigated. Additionally, the effects of smoking were evaluated. Although there was no significant difference in serum antibody titer against periodontal pathogenic bacteria between the ACPA-positive RA group and the ACPA-negative PMR group, we found an association between the elevated antibody titer against Pg and the degree of ACPA value, especially between negative group and high-value positive group (≥ 100 U/mL). The antibody titers against Aa and Pg did not differ depending on disease activity score 28 (DAS28) at baseline; however, patients with high antibody titers had poor RA therapeutic response as judged by DAS28 after 3 months. We could not find any association between smoking and any of these parameters. Periodontal pathogenic bacteria, especially Pg, are associated with elevated ACPA levels. Our findings suggest that Pg and Aa infections interfere with the therapeutic response of RA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12353
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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