Relationship between transmission of Porphyromonas gingivalis and FimA type in spouses

Hiroyuki Asano, Kazuyuki Ishihara, Taneaki Nakagawa, Satoru Yamada, Katsuji Okuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Porphyromonas gingivalis is one of the major microbial pathogens associated with chronic periodontitis. To eradicate such pathogens by periodontal therapy, it is essential to clarify the source of infection. Recent findings suggest that the genotype of the fimbriae is one of the important factors in infection by P. gingivalis. The objectives of the present study were to investigate the transmission of P. gingivalis between spouses and to determine the relationship between P. gingivalis fimA type and colonization. Methods: A total of 14 couples were selected to investigate the transmission of P. gingivalis and its association with the fimA types. To examine the distribution of fimA type in the general population, 32 subgingival plaque samples from 47 patients with periodontitis were also tested. The transmission of P. gingivalis strains was determined by using pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). P. gingivalis strains isolated from the couples and subgingival dental plaque samples were studied for fimA classification. Results: The PFGE patterns of P. gingivalis strains from matched husbands and wives were identical for six of the 14 couples. In five of these six couples (83.3%), P. gingivalis strains harboring the type II fimA gene were present. The proportion of type II fimA in the strains isolated from couples with probable intrafamilial transmission was significantly higher than that in patients with periodontitis or in the group of samples isolated from one member of a couple. Conclusion: This study suggests that fimA type II, even though widely distributed in patients with periodontitis, may be an important factor in the transmission of P. gingivalis between spouses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1360
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sept


  • Fimbriae, bacterial
  • Periodontitis/etiology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Spouses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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