Porphyromonas gingivalis: Immune Subversion Activities and Role in Periodontal Dysbiosis

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Purpose of Review

This review summarizes mechanisms by which Porphyromonas gingivalis interacts with community members and the host so that it can persist in the periodontium under inflammatory conditions that drive periodontal disease.

Recent Findings

Recent advances indicate that, in great part, the pathogenicity of P. gingivalis is dependent upon its ability to establish residence in the subgingival environment and to subvert innate immunity in a manner that uncouples the nutritionally favorable (for the bacteria) inflammatory response from antimicrobial pathways. While the initial establishment of P. gingivalis is dependent upon interactions with early colonizing bacteria, the immune subversion strategies of P. gingivalis in turn benefit co-habiting species.


Specific interspecies interactions and subversion of the host response contribute to the emergence and persistence of dysbiotic communities and are thus targets of therapeutic approaches for the treatment of periodontitis.

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    Correspondence to George Hajishengallis or Patricia I. Diaz.

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    George Hajishengallis is an inventor of a patent that describes the use of complement inhibitors for therapeutic purposes in periodontal disease. Patricia I. Diaz declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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    Hajishengallis, G., Diaz, P.I. Porphyromonas gingivalis: Immune Subversion Activities and Role in Periodontal Dysbiosis. Curr Oral Health Rep (2020) doi:10.1007/s40496-020-00249-3

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    • P. gingivalis
    • Inflammation
    • Dysbiosis
    • Immune subversion
    • Periodontitis