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Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans

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A gram-negative rod-shaped and facultative anaerobic bacterium involved in periodontal infection of tooth-supporting tissue and consider as an indicator for systemic diseases.


Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans has a linear DNA containing phage particles that circularly mixed. It is suitable to grow in fructose-limited cultures under aerobic and microaerobic conditions. It contains polysaccharide region responsible for the destruction of periodontal tissues. It is able to form biofilm in oral cavity that differ in thickness on either tooth surfaces or mucosal surfaces.

Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans grows best at 37’C with 5% carbon dioxide in air. It has a fimbriae and inner star-shaped that used for adhesion and colonization of the microorganism in the oral cavity. On the other hand when it is cultured in specific media it lacks fimbriae and star-shaped structures.

Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is associated in periodontal bacteria as well as in systemic infections and arterial plaques. It is known to be the major causative agent in periodontitis that comprises three different strains on major phylogenetic lineages that carries virulence potential. Its infection may lead to tooth removal mostly occurs among middle aged and elderly people.

Scientific classification:

 Kingdom: Bacteria
 Phylum: Proteobacteria
 Class: Gammaproteobacteria
 Order: Pasteurellales
 Family: Pasteurellaceae
 Genus: Actinobacillus
 Species: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans

See also:

• Bacteria

• Periodontitis

• Biofilms

• Dental plaque