Several reports have demonstrated a possible association of periodontal infections with coronary heart disease (CHD) by elevated antibody titre to periodontopathic bacteria in CHD patients compared with non-diseased controls. Although each periodontopathic bacterium may vary in virulence for periodontitis and atherosclerosis, antibody response to multiple bacteria in CHD patients has not been understood fully. Therefore, serum levels of antibody to 12 periodontopathic bacteria together with other atherosclerotic risk markers were compared among 51 patients with CHD, 55 patients with moderate to severe chronic periodontitis and 37 healthy individuals. The antibody response was the most prevalent for Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major causative organism, in CHD as well as periodontitis patients. However, antibody positivity was different between CHD and periodontitis if the response was analysed for two different strains of P. gingivalis, namely FDC381 and Su63. While periodontitis patients were positive for both P. gingivalis FDC381 and Su63, a high frequency of antibody positivity for P. gingivalis Su63 but not for FDC381 was observed in CHD patients. The results indicate that the presence of particular periodontopathic bacteria with high virulence may affect atherogenesis. Identifying the virulence factors of P. gingivalis Su63 may gain insight into the new therapeutic modality for infection-induced deterioration of atherosclerosis.
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