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Treponema denticola

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A gram negative slender motile and helically flexible bacterium that contains periplasmic flagella using proton motive force for thrusting through rotation involved in periodontal disease in humans.


Treponema denticola is associated in chronic periodontitis, a polymicrobial disease in human. It has an outer sheath containing peptidases, trypin-like and chymotrypin proteinases. It attaches to fibroblasts, epithelial cells and extracellular matrix found in periodontal tissues in which grows at optimal temperature ranging from 30’C-42’C with pH of 6.5-8.0 and is anaerobic that cannot survive in the presence of oxygen by which energy produced through glycolysis and fermentation.

Treponema denticola is frequently found in oral cavity especially in subgingival dental plague and has a circular chromosome with double stranded DNA. It also has an outer membrane that made up of protein lipopolysaccharide and phospholipid layers structured a permeable barrier to hydrophobic substances and composed of several mechanisms to balance oxidation, osmosis and other external stressor.

Treponema denticola is associated with necrotinizing ulcerative gingivitis and acute pericoronitis which is highly susceptible to damage and lysis. It has an endotoxin activity and porins that serves as a channel by which small molecules able to pass through the outer membrane.

Scientific classification:

Domain: Bacteria

Phylum: Spirochaetes

Order: Spirochaetales

Family: Spirochaetaceae

Genus: Treponema

Species: Treponema denticola

See also:

• Bacteria

• Periodontal disease