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Long-term changes in the subgingival microbiota in patients with stage III–IV periodontitis

treated by mechanical therapy and adjunctive systemic antibiotics: A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial

Aim: To explore whether adjunctive antibiotics can relevantly influence long-term microbiota changes in stage III–IV periodontitis patients.

Materials and Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial on periodontal therapy with adjunctive 500 mg amoxicillin and 400 mg metronidazole or placebo thrice daily for 7 days. Subgingival plaque samples were taken before and 2, 8, 14 and 26 months after mechanical therapy. The V4-hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced with Illumina MiSeq 250 base pair paired-end reads. Changes at the ribosomal sequence variant (RSV) level, diversity and subgingivalmicrobial dysbiosis index (SMDI) were explored with a negative binomial regression model and non-parametric tests.

Results: Overall, 50.2% of all raw reads summed up to 72 RSVs (3.0%) that were generated from 163 stage III–IV periodontitis patients. Of those, 16 RSVs, including Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, changed significantly over 26 months because of adjunctive systemic antibiotics. SMDI decreased significantly more in the antibiotic group at all timepoints, whereas the 2-month differences in alpha and beta diversity between groups were not significant at 8 and 14 months, respectively.

Conclusions: Mechanical periodontal therapy with adjunctive antibiotics induced a relevant and long-term sustainable change towards an oral microbiome more associated with oral health.

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