The personal human oral microbiome obscures the effects of treatment on periodontal disease

Karen Schwarzberg, Rosalin Le, Balambal Bharti, Suzanne Lindsay, Giorgio Casaburi, Francesco Salvatore, Mohamed H. Saber, Faisal Alonaizan, Jørgen Slots, Roberta A. Gottlieb, J. Gregory Caporaso, Scott T. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Periodontitis is a progressive disease of the periodontium with a complex, polymicrobial etiology. Recent Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies of the microbial diversity associated with periodontitis have revealed strong, community-level differences in bacterial assemblages associated with healthy or diseased periodontal sites. In this study, we used NGS approaches to characterize changes in periodontal pocket bacterial diversity after standard periodontal treatment. Despite consistent changes in the abundance of certain taxa in individuals whose condition improved with treatment, post-treatment samples retained the highest similarity to pre-treatment samples from the same individual. Deeper phylogenetic analysis of periodontal pathogen-containing genera Prevotella and Fusobacterium found both unexpected diversity and differential treatment response among species. Our results highlight how understanding interpersonal variability among microbiomes is necessary for determining how polymicrobial diseases respond to treatment and disturbance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere86708
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 29 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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