The prevalence rate of periodontal pathogens and its association with oral squamous cell carcinoma

  • Chunrong Chang
  • Fengxue Geng
  • Xiaoting Shi
  • Yuchao Li
  • Xue Zhang
  • Xida Zhao
  • Yaping Pan
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Mounting evidence suggests a causal relationship between specific bacterial infections or microbial compositions and the development of certain malignant neoplasms. In this study, we performed research through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, qPCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization to certify the relationship between periodontal pathogens and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Subgingival plaque, cancer and paracancerous tissues from 6 patients with OSCC were selected for mapping bacterial profiles by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. The research showed that periodontal pathogens were enriched in cancer and paracancerous tissues, while the bacterial profiles were similar between the cancer tissues and subgingival plaque. Furthermore, the relative abundance of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Streptococcus sanguinis was detected in 61 cancer tissues, paracancerous tissues and subgingival plaque samples and in 30 normal tissues by qPCR. The results revealed that P. gingivalis and F. nucleatum existed at higher levels in cancer tissue than in normal tissues and were correlated with subgingival plaques. P. gingivalis was detected using a special oligonucleotide probe in 60.7% of OSCC tissues, 32.8% of paracancerous tissues and 13.3% of normal tissues. Relevance analysis showed that P. gingivalis infection was positively associated with late clinical staging, low differentiation and lymph node metastasis in patients with OSCC, which was accompanied by deeper periodontal pockets, severe clinical attachment loss and loss of teeth. This study revealed that there might be a close relationship between oral microorganisms, particularly periodontal pathogens, and OSCC, which might enrich the pathogenesis of oral squamous carcinoma.


P. gingivalis F. nucleatum OSCC Periodontal pathogen Differentiation Metastasis 



This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81470745 and No.81670997).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. This experiment was approved by the ethics committee of the Affiliated Stomatological Hospital of China Medical University, and the ethical approval number was G2014006.

Supplementary material

253_2018_9475_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (362 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 361 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunrong Chang
    • 1
  • Fengxue Geng
    • 1
  • Xiaoting Shi
    • 1
  • Yuchao Li
    • 1
  • Xue Zhang
    • 1
  • Xida Zhao
    • 1
  • Yaping Pan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Periodontics, School of StomatologyChina Medical UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Department of Oral Biology, School of StomatologyChina Medical UniversityShenyangChina

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