A Model of Spontaneous Periodontitis in the Miniature Goat

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The pathogenesis and progression of periodontal disease have been extensively studied through the use of animal models. However, no animal model has yet been established that is precisely similar to periodontitis in humans. In the present study, we examined the use of Shiba goats as a model for spontaneous periodontitis.


Thirty-four Shiba goats (seven males and 27 females, aged 10 to 98 months) were used. We examined periodontitis in Shiba goats clinically, histopathologically, and microbiologically.


The mean probing depth (PD) of the 68 teeth examined was 2.7 ± 0.8 mm. The incidences of PD ≥3 and 4 mm were 46.4% and 22.1%, respectively. The incidence of bleeding on probing in 68 sites and in 34 animals was 60.7% and 73.5%, respectively. The formation of vertical alveolar bone defects and downgrowth of gingival epithelial cells were found in the areas of periodontitis. The prevalence of Tannerella forsythensis, Campylobacter rectus, Fusobacterium necrophorum, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in subgingival plaque by polymerase chain reaction was 46.4%, 28.5%, 28.5%, 17.8%, and 3.5%, respectively. These percentages were increased in subgingival plaque from PD ≥3 mm.


The clinical, histopathological, and microbiological features of spontaneous periodontitis in Shiba goats were somewhat similar to those in human periodontitis. Moreover, there are some advantages of using the Shiba goat; the size of the oral cavity is suitable for periodontal treatment, and handling and housing are relatively easy. Therefore, these results suggest that the Shiba goat is a useful animal model for human periodontitis. J Periodontol 2006;77:847-855.

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