Orofacial granulomatosis (OFG) is a granulomatous inflammation (GI) disease in maxillofacial region, the underlying cause of it remains unknown. Our previous study demonstrated that tooth apical periodontitis (AP) plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of OFG, we aimed here to characterize the AP bacterial signatures of OFG patients, and identify bacteria that may be important pathogens capable of inducing OFG.
The composition of AP microbiota in OFG cases and common AP controls was compared using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the results showed a specific AP microbiota signature in OFG patients, characterized by domination of phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria , notably members of Streptococcus, Lactobacillus and Neisseria. To assess the pathogenicity of the potential pathogens in OFG, we isolated and successfully in vitro cultured Streptococcus, Lactobacillus casei, Neisseria subflava, Veillonella parvula and Actinomyces from OFG patients, and injected the clinical isolates into mice respectively. Ultimately, foot pad injection with N. subflava elicited granulomatous inflammation, and the virulence of N. subflava was verified based on Koch’s postulates.
Our findings confirmed the role of bacteria in OFG, and first suggested that the component of the host normal microbiota, N. subflava is likely a pathogen for GI.