Aggregatibacter Actinomycetemcomitans: Clinical Significance of a Pathobiont Subjected to Ample Changes in Classification and Nomenclature

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  • Niels Nørskov-Lauritsen
  • Rolf Claesson, Division of Oral Microbiology, Department of Odontology, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden.
  • ,
  • Anne Birkeholm Jensen
  • Carola Höglund Åberg, Department of Odontology, Division of Molecular Periodontology, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.
  • ,
  • Dorte Haubek

Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a Gram-negative bacterium that is part of the oral microbiota. The aggregative nature of this pathogen or pathobiont is crucial to its involvement in human disease. It has been cultured from non-oral infections for more than a century, while its portrayal as an aetiological agent in periodontitis has emerged more recently. A. actinomycetemcomitans is one species among a plethora of microorganisms that constitute the oral microbiota. Although A. actinomycetemcomitans encodes several putative toxins, the complex interplay with other partners of the oral microbiota and the suppression of host response may be central for inflammation and infection in the oral cavity. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive update on the clinical significance, classification, and characterisation of A. actinomycetemcomitans, which has exclusive or predominant host specificity for humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number243
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019

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