Departmental Papers (Dental)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source










Periodontitis results from the interaction between a subgingival biofilm and host immune response. Changes in biofilm composition are thought to disrupt homeostasis between the host and subgingival bacteria resulting in periodontal damage. Chronic systemic inflammatory disorders have been shown to affect the subgingival microbiota and clinical periodontal status. However, this relationship has not been examined in subjects with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The objective of our study was to investigate the influence of SLE on the subgingival microbiota and its connection with periodontal disease and SLE activity.


We evaluated 52 patients with SLE compared to 52 subjects without SLE (control group). Subjects were classified as without periodontitis and with periodontitis. Oral microbiota composition was assessed by amplifying the V4 region of 16S rRNA gene from subgingival dental plaque DNA extracts. These amplicons were examined by Illumina MiSeq sequencing.


SLE patients exhibited higher prevalence of periodontitis which occurred at a younger age compared to subjects of the control group. More severe forms of periodontitis were found in SLE subjects that had higher bacterial loads and decreased microbial diversity. Bacterial species frequently detected in periodontal disease were observed in higher proportions in SLE patients, even in periodontal healthy sites such as Fretibacterium, Prevotella nigrescens, and Selenomonas. Changes in the oral microbiota were linked to increased local inflammation, as demonstrated by higher concentrations of IL-6, IL-17, and IL-33 in SLE patients with periodontitis.


SLE is associated with differences in the composition of the microbiota, independently of periodontal status.

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40168-017-0252-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated


lupus, periodontitis, oral microbiota, cytokine, subgingival dental plaque, illumina sequencing

Included in

Dentistry Commons



Date Posted: 10 August 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.