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Periodontal health status, Porphyromonas gingivalis and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies among rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) is the primary periodontal pathogen involved in protein citrullination, which triggers the production of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies, exacerbating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aims to evaluate the amount of P. gingivalis and its association with anti-CCP antibodies in RA patients with periodontitis. This cross-sectional study involves 100 RA patients with a mean age of 52.36 (SD 13.90) years. Smokers and patients with other uncontrolled systemic diseases were excluded. Disease Activity Score-28 (DAS-28) was used to determine RA disease severity. Periodontal parameters were examined to determine periodontal status. Subsequently, plaque samples were collected from the subgingival periodontal pocket for assessment of P. gingivalis bacterial load using the loop-mediated isothermal amplification method. Blood samples (5 ml) were obtained from all participants to analyse anti-CCP antibody levels. Data was analysed by using SPSS version 24.0. Most participants were female (85.0%) and had low RA disease severity (62%). The mean RA disease duration was 7.77 (SD 6.3) years, with a mean DAS-28 of 3.17 (SD 1.0). Forty-seven per cent of participants had periodontitis, but all periodontal parameters were not associated with RA disease activity (P = 0.38). P. gingivalis bacterial load ranged from 10 to 109 copies/μl. Fifty-five per cent of the collected samples showed positive anti-CCP antibody levels, but no significant association was observed with the P. gingivalis bacterial load (P = 0.58). Considering the study's limitations, although periodontitis is prevalent among RA patients, there is a lack of association between P. gingivalis bacterial load and anti-CCP antibody levels, which should be investigated further.

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