Molecular and cultural analysis of the microflora associated with endodontic infections

M A Munson, T Pitt Ford, B Chong, A Weightman, W G Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural studies have indicated that a subset of the oral microflora is responsible for endodontic infections. Approximately 50% of oral bacteria are unculturable, so it is likely that currently unknown bacteria are present in such infections. In this study, cultural and molecular analyses were performed on the microflora in aspirate samples collected from 5 infected root canals. 16S rDNA sequences from 261 isolates and 624 clones were identified by comparison with database sequences. Sixty-five taxa were identified, of which 26 were found by the molecular method alone. A mean of 20.2 taxa was found in each sample. A new species of Dialister was the only organism present in all 5 samples. Twenty-seven novel taxa were detected, 18 of which belonged to the phylum Firmicutes and 8 to Bacteroidetes. Culture-independent, molecular analysis has revealed a more diverse microflora associated with endodontic infections than that revealed by cultural methods alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761 - 766
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2002


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