Prevalence of periodontal pathogens in coronary atherosclerotic plaque of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery

This research was originally published in 2009 by Jaideep Mahendra, Little Mahendra, V. M. Kurian, K. Jaishankar, and R. Mythilli. 

We have curated this article as a reference point for The Larkin Protocol.



Chronic bacterial infections have been associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. The ability of oral pathogens to colonize in coronary atheromatous plaque is well known. The aim of our study was to detect the presence of four common periodontal pathogens in coronary plaques. We detected the presence of 16S rRNA of Treponema denticola, Eikenella Corrodens, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Campylobacter rectus in subgingival and atherosclerotic plaques of CABG surgery by using Polymerase Chain Reaction.


51 patients in the age group of 40 to 80 years with chronic periodontitis were recruited for the study. These patients were suffering from Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and underwent Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG). DNA was extracted from the subgingival plaque and coronary atheromatous plaque samples. Universal Primer for the general detection of bacterial DNA and the primers for T.denticola, E. Corrodens, C.rectus and P.gingivalis were used to amplify part of 16SrRNA gene by Polymerase Chain Reaction.


T.denticola, E.corrodens, C.rectus and P.gingivalis were detected in 49.01 %, 27.45 %, 21.51% and 45.10% of atherosclerotic plaque samples. In both subgingival and coronary plaque samples, T. denticola was detected in 39.21% of the cases, E.corrodens in 19.60%, C.rectus in 11.76% and P.gingivalis in 39.22% of the cases respectively.


Our study revealed the presence of significant bacterial DNA of oral pathogens in coronary plaques. This suggests possible relationship between periodontal infection and atherosclerosis and can help devise preventive treatment strategies.

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