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Metagenomic analysis of periodontal subgingival microbiota in subjects with and without chronic periodontitis


Periodontitis is in considered a global health problem by the WHO. The search for the etiological agents associated with the etiology of periodontitis has lasted for more than three centuries. Advances in microbiological diagnostic techniques have been showing, with increasing resolution, the huge complexity of the interaction between the oral microbiota and the host. Molecular biology techniques have allowed the detection of not yet cultured microorganisms in oral plaque samples, which have significantly increased our understanding about the etiology of periodontal disease. High throughput sequencing techniques have allowed massive parallel sequencing of a phylogenetic marker, such as the 16S rDNA using PCR (polimerase chain reaction). These new technologies have been enabling the study of the microbial communities present in the subgingival biofilm. In addition, the recent development of new "sequencing platforms" has allowed the direct sequencing of the metagenomic DNA, reducing the biases incurred from gene cloning techniques. Until now, the high throughput sequencing has been used in only very few studies concerning the oral microbiota. The results of these studies suggest an oral microbial diversity with orders of magnitude much larger than that from studies employing PCR and cloning techniques. Thus, the present study aims to evaluate in details the composition of the subgingival plaque associated with chronic periodontitis, and its metabolic functions and system-level mechanisms (groups of genes presenting similar functions), before and after periodontal therapy, using two high throughput sequencing approaches. This would be the first study to use this technique to evaluate individual plaque sample (not pool) from subject with or without periodontitis. The results may point out new targets for specie-diagnostic test and drive new lines of prevention and treatment of periodontal infections. (AU)

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