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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 476068, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/476068
Review Article

Porphyromonas gingivalis: Major Periodontopathic Pathogen Overview

Institute of Clinical and Experimental Dental Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University, Karlovo Namesti 32, 12000 Prague, Czech Republic

Received 8 November 2013; Revised 21 February 2014; Accepted 21 February 2014; Published 25 March 2014

Academic Editor: Clelia M. Riera

Copyright © 2014 Jaroslav Mysak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Porphyromonas gingivalis is a Gram-negative oral anaerobe that is involved in the pathogenesis of periodontitis and is a member of more than 500 bacterial species that live in the oral cavity. This anaerobic bacterium is a natural member of the oral microbiome, yet it can become highly destructive (termed pathobiont) and proliferate to high cell numbers in periodontal lesions: this is attributed to its arsenal of specialized virulence factors. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of one of the main periodontal pathogens—Porphyromonas gingivalis. This bacterium, along with Treponema denticola and Tannerella forsythia, constitute the “red complex,” a prototype polybacterial pathogenic consortium in periodontitis. This review outlines Porphyromonas gingivalis structure, its metabolism, its ability to colonize the epithelial cells, and its influence upon the host immunity.