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Shared detection of Porphyromonas gingivalis incohabiting family members: a systematic review

Introduction: Periodontitis is an inflammatory dysbiotic disease. Among putative dysbiosis causes, transmission of Porphyromonas gingivalis between individuals of the same family remains unclear. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to assess the likelihood of shared detection of Porphyromonas gingivalis among cohabiting family members.


Methods: A literature search was conducted on different databases up to September 2018. Articles assessing the presence of P.gingivalis between members of the same family were screened. Only English literature was retrieved, whereas no limits were applied for bacterial sampling and detection methods.


Results: Overall, 26 articles published between 1993 and 2017 met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 18 articles were used for meta-analyses. Based on bacterial culture, the likelihood of an intra-familial transmission of P.gingivalis once a member of the family harbors the bacterium is estimated at 63.5% (n = 132 pairs of family members); this drops to 45% when pooling together culture and Polymerase-Chain-Reaction (n = 481 pairs), whereas it is estimated at 35.7% when genotyping is applied (n = 137 pairs).


Conclusion: Pooled results suggest that the likelihood of detecting P.gingivalis within within family members is moderately frequent. Personalized periodontal screening and prevention may consider intra-familial co-occurrence of P.gingivalis as feasible.


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