Molecular analysis of laboratory samples for Periodontopathogenic bacteria in rheumatoid arthritis patients in Kampala, Uganda
Introduction In different western countries, there have been several studies done in suspicion of a correlation of pathogenesis of two chronically disfiguring inflammatory conditions: periodontal disease (PD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). PD involves inflammation of the periodontal tissues which, in late stages, can result in loss of bone and teeth if not well managed. The most strongly associated risk factors to the condition include smoking and poor oral hygiene. On the other hand, RA is a systemic inflammatory condition that is known to affect joints of the small bones. In its chronic stages, individuals are permanently disabled in a way that they can hardly move the inflamed joints. Previous studies involved investigations of different aspects for example assessing the prevalence of the two conditions separately and then in co-existence. Some studies described this association as being brought about by the organisms, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. However, it was observed that in some patients suffering from periodontal disease, these organisms were not detected in the crevicular fluid of the patients. This was an indicator of other virulent bacteria capable of causing periodontal disease. Aim This study focused on identifying other bacteria involved in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease and which could in turn elicit inflammatory response in the host thus worsening the state of rheumatoid arthritis in these individuals. Methodology The study utilized an experimental approach in which oral samples obtained from participants with established rheumatoid arthritis and also diagnosed with periodontal disease were examined for carriage of four most common periodontopathogenic bacteria that could be of importance in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) molecular detection technique. Results With aid of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique and gel electrophoresis in presence of a molecular mass standard 100 Bps ladder, the four most common periodontopathogenic organisms identified from this study included the species: Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (n=17, 27.87%), Bacterioides forsythus (n=19, 31.15%), Fusobacterium nucleatum (n=24, 39.34%), and Porphyromonas gingivalis (n=32, 52.46%). Conclusion From this study, P. gingivalis was the most frequently detected periodontopathogenic organism in relation to the other three organisms: Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Bacterioides forsythus, and Fusobacterium nucleatum in the study samples.