Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 271–279 | Cite as

Patterns of Salivary Analytes Provide Diagnostic Capacity for Distinguishing Chronic Adult Periodontitis from Health

  • Jeffrey L. EbersoleEmail author
  • Julie L. Schuster
  • Jason Stevens
  • Dolph DawsonIII
  • Richard J. Kryscio
  • Yushin Lin
  • Mark V. Thomas
  • Craig S. Miller
Original Research


Salivary biomarker discovery requires identification of analytes with high discriminatory capacity to distinguish disease from health, including day-to-day variations that occur in analyte levels. In this study, seven biomarkers associated with inflammatory and tissue destructive processes of periodontal disease were investigated. In a prospective cohort study design, analyte expression levels were determined in unstimulated whole saliva samples collected on multiple occasions from 30 healthy adults (i.e., orally and systemically) and 50 chronic adult periodontitis patients. Salivary levels of IL-1β, IL-6, MMP-8, and albumin were significantly elevated (5.4 to 12.6X) and levels of IFNα were consistently lower (8.7X) in periodontitis patients compared with the daily variation observed in healthy adults. ROC analyses of IL-1β, IL-6 and MMP-8 yielded areas under the curves of 0.963-0.984 for discriminating periodontitis from health. These results demonstrate that levels of salivary bioanalytes of patients who have periodontitis are uniquely different from normal levels found in healthy subjects, and a panel consisting of IL-1β, MMP-8 and IL-6 shows particular diagnostic potential.


Saliva periodontitis diagnosis inflammation analytes 



We thank Hailey Wilson, manager of the Delta Dental of Kentucky Clinical Research Center, and clinical coordinators, Dawn Dawson, Vanessa Hodges, and Brittany Fuller for their expert services in managing the patients and samples.

Research Funding

This study was supported by grant U01 DE017793, from the NIH/NIDCR, P20 RR020145 from the NIH/NCRR, and funds from the Center for Oral Health Research in the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. The authors state no conflict of interest related to this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey L. Ebersole
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Julie L. Schuster
    • 2
  • Jason Stevens
    • 1
  • Dolph DawsonIII
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard J. Kryscio
    • 3
    • 6
  • Yushin Lin
    • 3
    • 6
  • Mark V. Thomas
    • 2
  • Craig S. Miller
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Oral Health ResearchUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Periodontology, Department of Oral Health PracticeUniversity of Kentucky College of DentistryLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of Kentucky College of Public HealthLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Oral Diagnosis and Oral Medicine, Department of Oral Health PracticeUniversity of Kentucky College of DentistryLexingtonUSA
  5. 5.Center for Oral Health Research, HSRB 422, College of DentistryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  6. 6.Department of StatisticUniversity of Kentucky College of Arts and SciencesLexingtonUSA

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