Title of Project

Expression of Multidrug Efflux Pumps in Porphyromonas gingivalis

Researcher Information

Kristina Christoph

Project Type


Start Date

4-4-2008 12:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2008 12:00 AM

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Apr 4th, 12:00 AM Apr 4th, 12:00 AM

Expression of Multidrug Efflux Pumps in Porphyromonas gingivalis

Periodontal disease is a well known threat to the bones and ligaments that support teeth. Ongoing studies are linking periodontal disease to coronary artery disease, diabetes, and pneumonia. Treatment of the disease involves controlling the bacteria that cause the inflammatory response and tissue destruction. Porphyromonas gingivalis is a periodontal pathogen found in sites having greater progression of the disease. P. gingivalis grows together with many other bacterial species in a complex community called a biofilm. Growing in the context of a biofilm is known to protect bacteria and make them more resistant to antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents. However, the mechanism by which antimicrobial drug resistance increases during biofilm growth is currently not well understood. Some have suggested that growth within a biofilm increases the production of multidrug efflux pumps that function to expel antibiotics from cells. This research project aims to investigate this question by studying efflux pump gene expression when P. gingivalis is grown in a planktonic culture, within a biofilm, and in the presence of antibiotics commonly used in the treatment of periodontal disease. Attempts to extract and view collected RNA samples have been met with difficulties. Various techniques for extracting and conducting gel electrophoresis on RNA samples are currently being tested in hopes of establishing a successful protocol.