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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Development of a polymerase chain reaction assay for the rapid detection of the oral pathogenic bacterium, Selenomonas noxia

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Patricia Cruz, Arthuro M. Mehretu, Mark P. Buttner, Theresa Trice, Katherine M. Howard
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

PC and MPB conceived, monitored, and coordinated the experimental design. AMM carried out the experiments and data acquisition. TT carried out supplemental experiments and data acquisition. AMM and PC drafted the manuscript. KMH conceived the study and reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



In recent studies, periodontal health has been linked to being overweight and/or obese. Among common oral bacteria, Selenomonas noxia has been implicated in converting periodontal health to disease, and Selenomonas species have also been found in gastric ulcers. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay for the specific and rapid detection of S. noxia.


Two oligonucleotide primer pairs and one probe were designed and tested to determine optimal amplification signal with three strains of S. noxia. The PCR assay was tested against fourteen non-target organisms, including closely related oral Selenomonads, one phylogenetically closely related bacterium, and two commonly isolated oral bacteria.


One of the primer sets was more sensitive at detecting the target organism and was selected for optimization and validation experiments. The designed primers and probe amplified the target organism with 100 % specificity. PCR inhibition was observed with an internal positive control, and inhibition was resolved by diluting the DNA extract.


The qPCR assay designed in this study can be used to specifically detect S. noxia in the clinical setting and in future research involving the enhanced detection of S. noxia. The assay can also be used in epidemiological studies for understanding the role of S. noxia in disease processes including, but not limited to, oral health and obesity of infectious origin.
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