Systemic endotoxin levels in chronic indolent periodontal infections

J. L. Ebersole, J. Stevens, M. J. Steffen, D. Dawson, M. J. Novak

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Scopus citations


    Background and Objective: Periodontal disease has been linked with an increased risk of various systemic diseases. A plausible biologic explanation for this link includes the opportunity for oral pathogens to translocate to the circulation as a result of breakdown in integrity of the oral epithelium. This study refined a methodology used to detect endotoxin activity in the serum of subjects with indolent periodontal infections. Material and Methods: The QCL® Kinetic Chromogenic Assay (Cambrex) is a kinetic measure of endotoxin activity. Sera from 211 pregnant women with periodontitis enrolled in the Obstetrics and Periodontal Therapy Trial were used to develop the assay further and to evaluate the detection of endotoxin activity that might accompany a low-level bacteremia in chronic periodontitis. Results: We optimized the system to increase the sensitivity and reproducibility of the assay. The refined system was able to detect endotoxin activity in serum at > 0.0125 EU/mL. At baseline (13-16 wk of gestation), 35.5% of the women were positive for endotoxin activity (1.62 ± 2.21; range: 0.38-15 EU/mL). Conclusion: This report describes a sensitive measure of endotoxin activity in serum. The procedure allowed us to document levels of this microbial virulence factor in serum of individuals with indolent infections such as periodontal disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 2010


    • Endotoxin
    • Indolent infection
    • Periodontitis
    • Pregnancy
    • Serum

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Periodontics


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