Variations in IgG antibody subclass responses to oral bacteria: Effects of periodontal disease and modifying factors

Jeffrey L. Ebersole, Razan Hamzeh, Linh Nguyen, Mohanad Al-Sabbagh, Dolph Dawson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    Background and objective: Local and systemic IgG antibodies or oral bacteria have been described with periodontitis. We extended these observations by assessing the impact of a range of intrinsic factors on serum IgG subclass antibodies to both commensal and pathogenic oral bacteria that would contribute to variations in immune protection or disease susceptibility in periodontitis have not been described. Methods: Subjects (n = 278) were classified as healthy, gingivitis, or periodontitis and categorized as mild, moderate, and severe periodontitis. Demographic stratification included sex, age, race/ethnicity, smoking, and obesity. Whole formalin-fixed bacteria were used as antigens to detect serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G subclass antibody levels using an ELISA. Results: The greatest differences in variations in IgG subclasses occurred in periodontitis versus health or gingivitis to bacteria considered oral pathogens (eg, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Treponema denticola) with IgG1, IgG2, and IgG4 increased by three- to sevenfold with Pg. Differences in subclass levels and distribution were also observed related to disease severity, particularly related to individual subclass responses to Pg. Examination of the overall population showed that females had elevated antibody, reflected by elevated IgG2 amounts/proportions. The older group of subjects demonstrated elevated antibody to multiple oral bacteria, lacking any particular subclass pattern. IgG2 antibody to Aa and Pg was increased in smokers. Multiple IgG subclass antibody levels to oral pathogens were significantly decreased in the obese subset within this population. Conclusion: This investigation identified patterns of IgG subclass antibody responses to oral bacteria and demonstrated substantial effects of disease impacting the level and subclass distribution of antibody to an array of oral bacteria. Altered subclass antibody profiles most often in IgG2 levels and for antibody to P. gingivalis were found related to sex, age, disease severity, race/ethnicity, smoking, and obesity to both pathogens and commensal bacteria.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)863-876
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Oct 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    • aging
    • antibody
    • humoral immunology
    • obesity
    • periodontal immunology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Periodontics


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