IgG antibody levels to Porphyromonas gingivalis and clinical measures in children

Cara L. Donley, Rachel Badovinac, Shabtai Sapir, Lior Shapira, Yael Houri, Alpdogan Kantarci, Martha L. Warbington, Serge Dibart, Thomas E. Van Dyke, Howard L. Needleman, Nadeem Karimbux, Enrique Bimstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Periodontopathic clinical markers are poorly understood in the pediatric population. Several studies have proposed Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) and an antibody response to the microorganism as factors in periodontal tissue destruction in children. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of P. gingivalis in dental plaque and of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels to P. gingivalis, and their relationship to periodontal clinical measures in children. Methods: Thirty-one subjects, aged 20 to 163 months, participated in this study. Clinical measures examined included gingivitis, plaque, alveolar bone height, age, gender, ethnicity, medical status, caries, and IgG antibody levels to P. gingivalis. Five ml of blood was collected for serum analysis, and IgG antibody levels to P. gingivalis were determined by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Plaque samples were examined for the presence of P. gingivalis by DNA-DNA checkerboard. Data were analyzed on a person-level basis for relationships to serum IgG antibody levels to P. gingivalis and on a site-specific level for relationships to the presence of P. gingivalis in plaque. Results: A majority (77%) of the subjects were systemically healthy, non-white (74%), and did not have detectable P. gingivalis in their plaque. Fifty-two percent of the subjects had positive serum IgG antibody levels to P. gingivalis. Based on univariate linear regression, factors related to IgG antibody levels to P. gingivalis (P<0.05) included age, average gingival index (GI), average probing depth, and number of teeth with alveolar bone crest to cemento-enamel junction (ABC-CEJ) distances >2 mm. When all clinical measures were considered together, only age remained statistically significantly related to serum IgG antibody levels to P. gingivalis. Conclusions: Age is one of the most important factors in the development of the immune response to putative microorganisms such as P. gingivalis in children. The role of IgG as a time-sensitive measure of periodontal health in children needs to be investigated further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004



  • Age factors
  • Antibody response
  • Children
  • IgG
  • Immune response
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

Cite this

Donley, C. L., Badovinac, R., Sapir, S., Shapira, L., Houri, Y., Kantarci, A., Warbington, M. L., Dibart, S., Van Dyke, T. E., Needleman, H. L., Karimbux, N., & Bimstein, E. (2004). IgG antibody levels to Porphyromonas gingivalis and clinical measures in children. Journal of periodontology, 75(2), 221-228. https://doi.org/10.1902/jop.2004.75.2.221