Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola synergistic polymicrobial biofilm development.PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e71727.Plos
Chronic periodontitis has a polymicrobial biofilm aetiology and interactions between key bacterial species are strongly implicated as contributing to disease progression. Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola and Tannerella forsythia have all been implicated as playing roles in disease progression. P. gingivalis cell-surface-located protease/adhesins, the gingipains, have been suggested to be involved in its interactions with several other bacterial species. The aims of this study were to determine polymicrobial biofilm formation by P. gingivalis, T. denticola and T. forsythia, as well as the role of P. gingivalis gingipains in biofilm formation by using a gingipain null triple mutant. To determine homotypic and polymicrobial biofilm formation a flow cell system was employed and the biofilms imaged and quantified by fluorescent in situ hybridization using DNA species-specific probes and confocal scanning laser microscopy imaging. Of the three species, only P. gingivalis and T. denticola formed mature, homotypic biofilms, and a strong synergy was observed between P. gingivalis and T. denticola in polymicrobial biofilm formation. This synergy was demonstrated by significant increases in biovolume, average biofilm thickness and maximum biofilm thickness of both species. In addition there was a morphological change of T. denticola in polymicrobial biofilms when compared with homotypic biofilms, suggesting reduced motility in homotypic biofilms. P. gingivalis gingipains were shown to play an essential role in synergistic polymicrobial biofilm formation with T. denticola.