Microbiological Findings in Subjects With Asymptomatic Oral Lichen Planus: A Cross-Sectional Comparative Study

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Abstract

Background:

The bacterial colonization of the oral mucosa was evaluated in patients with asymptomatic oral lichen planus (OLP) and compared to the microbiologic status in mucosally healthy subjects.

Methods:

Bacteria from patients with clinically and histopathologically diagnosed OLP from the Stomatology Service, Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, were collected with a non-invasive swab system. Samples were taken from OLP lesions on the gingiva and from non-affected sites on the contralateral side of the mouth. The control population did not have OLP and was recruited from the student clinic. All samples were processed with the checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization method using well-defined bacterial species for the analysis.

Results:

Significantly higher bacterial counts of Bacteroides ureolyticus (P = 0.001), Dialister species (sp.) (P = 0.006), Staphylococcus haemolyticus (P = 0.007), and Streptococcus agalactiae (P = 0.006) were found in samples taken from OLP lesions compared to sites with no clinical evidence of OLP. Significantly higher bacterial counts were found for Capnocytophaga sputigena, Eikenella corrodens, Lactobacillus crispatus, Mobiluncus curtisii, Neisseria mucosa, Prevotella bivia, Prevotella intermedia, and S. agalactiae at sites with lesions in subjects with OLP compared to sites in control subjects (P <0.001).

Conclusions:

Microbiologic differences were found between sites with OLP and sites in subjects without a diagnosis of OLP. Specifically, higher counts of staphylococci and S. agalactiae were found in OLP lesions. J Periodontol 2008;79: 2347-2355.

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