BACKGROUND: The leukotoxin expressed by Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a powerful exotoxin, which can cause imbalance in the host response. Immunoreactivity to the leukotoxin is a marker for the presence of leukotoxic A. actinomycetemcomitan, a presence that may modify the disease pattern of the colonized individuals. The aim of the present study was to examine the presence of systemic immunoreactivity to A. actionmycetemcomitans leukotoxin in relation to clinical and inflammatory findings in individuals with or without periodontitis (n = 88).
METHODS: The periodontal status was examined in a population of cases (n = 49) and controls (n = 39), and the cases received periodontal treatment. Systemic biomarkers associated with inflammation and infections, as well as the clinical parameters, were analyzed at baseline, three months after treatment and six months after.
RESULTS: The presence of immunoreactivity against leukotoxin was associated with impaired remission of the disease after periodontal treatment. This immunoreactivity was also significantly associated with increased systemic levels of A. actinomycetemcomtans-specific immunoglobulins and increasing age.
CONCLUSION: The presence and levels of systemic immunoreactivity against A. actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin are associated with a decreased remission after otherwise successful periodontal treatment.