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Possible lethal enhancement of toxins from putative periodontopathogens by nicotine: implications for periodontal disease.
  1. N M Sayers,
  2. B P Gomes,
  3. D B Drucker,
  4. A S Blinkhorn
  1. Turner Dental School, University of Manchester.

    Abstract

    AIM: To test the hypothesis that lethal synergy in the chick embryo model may occur between nicotine and bacterial products (cell-free extracellular toxins and cell lysates) of five putative periodontopathogens. METHODS: The lethality of cell-free extracellular toxins and cell lysates of five periodontal species was assessed with or without nicotine in the chick embryo assay system. Ten putative periodontopathogens (five species) were studied: Prevotella intermedia (n = 5), Porphyromonas gingivalis (n = 1), Porphyromonas asaccharolytica (n = 1), Fusobacterium nucleatum (n = 2), and Fusobacterium necrophorum (n = 1). RESULTS: Simultaneous testing of cell-free extracellular toxins from isolates W50, PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5 and nicotine resulted in a percentage kill significantly greater than expected (Fisher's Exact test). Simultaneous testing of cell lysates from isolates W50, PS2, and PS5 and nicotine resulted in a percentage kill significantly greater than expected (Fisher's Exact test). CONCLUSIONS: Lethal synergy in the chick embryo model may occur between nicotine and toxins from putative periodontopathogens (both cell-free extracellular toxins and cell lysates). This may be an important mechanism by which smoking increases the severity of periodontal disease.

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