Microbiological analysis of oral samples for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by nested polymerase chain reaction in tuberculosis patients with periodontitis

Sunil Kumar Palakuru, Vandana K Lakshman, Kishore G Bhat


Background: Due to high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in India, presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in oral samples might influence the periodontal status of patients and also might pose a risk of transmission of TB during dental procedures through aerosols. Hence, this study aims to compare the periodontal status between TB and non‑TB patients and to detect the presence of M. tuberculosis in plaque and saliva of TB and non‑TB patients.

Materials and Methods: A total of 25 TB and 25 non‑TB systemically healthy patients (age 21-49 years) were selected for this Clinico‑Microbiological study. The oral hygiene and periodontal status of the patients were measured by using clinical indices and were compared using Mann–Whitney test (P < 0.05 = Significant). Pooled plaque and unstimulated salivary samples were collected and subjected to microbiological evaluation of M. tuberculosis by nested polymerase chain reaction. The detection rates were compared using Chi‑square test (P < 0.001 = Highly significant).

Results: No significant difference was observed in periodontal clinical parameters measured between the groups. M. tuberculosis was detected in 92% of saliva and 68% of plaque samples of tuberculosis group, and even in 12% of saliva samples in nontuberculosis group patients.

Conclusion: The TB status of the patient did not influence the periodontal status. However, the presence of M. tuberculosis in plaque and saliva as detected in this study might pose a grave risk of transmission of the disease through aerosols during dental procedures.

Key Words: Dental plaque, nested PCR, periodontitis, saliva, tuberculosis

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